Copied from a VWM press release (from Blackberry so no link or formatting);
London, England – October 15, 2008 – Virtual Worlds Management, the leading virtual worlds trade media company, has announced findings from a comprehensive study of accountable transactions showing that venture capital and media firms have invested more than $148.5 million dollars in 12 virtual worlds-related companies during the third quarter of 2008 with participation from many more VC firms and angel investors. The total investment in the virtual worlds space for 2008 is now over $493 million. The news was announced just prior to the upcoming Virtual Worlds London conference which takes place October 20-21, 2008. Individual investment details including companies and investors can be found at http://www.virtualworldsmanagement.com/2008/q3.html
The bulk of the investment is in the entertainment space, with all but $22.4 million going to developers of worlds with strong gameplay elements, ties to media brands, or the youth sector. As we’ve previously reported, youth worlds are constantly on the rise, and investors remain interested in backing them as long as they can find unique propositions.
“Many smaller investments were made across a spectrum of youth-oriented virtual worlds,” explained Joey Seiler, Editor of VirtualWorldsNews.com. ” $35.64 million was invested in seven virtual worlds aimed at kids through teens. That’s up significantly from Q1’s $16.03 million in eight youth virtual worlds and Q2, which saw no investment targeted at youth worlds.”
The numbers overall are down from earlier quarters this year, but that’s true of the larger venture capital space as well. Investors, while still remaining active, are warning portfolio companies that future rounds may be even tougher to pull in. Socializing, entertainment, and games remain strong among consumers, though, as well as investors.
Thanks to Nick Parker for the tip off.