Announced late last Friday, kid focused virtual world Secret Builders has recently secured $2.3M in new funding.
Initially launched in December of 2008, Secret Builders is doing seemingly well in a ‘what what as the time’ highly competitive market. They’ve organically grown the online destination to over 1 million users, and currently see 350k – 400k unique monthly visitors from around the world. One of the keys to Secret Builder’s success has been the interaction and cooperation from educators around the world. Since Secret Builders focus is placed primarily on education through fun, approximately 800 schools participate in the virtual world.
“We’ve weathered a tough time in the market,” Khan said via VentureBeat. “Spending money to get users was a good way to go out of business. Now the investors are looking for traction and your long-term success in attracting users.”
Based on the free-to-play/microtransactions business model, Secret World players can play as much as they want without charge. However, if players would like to do so, they can purchase a virtual currency in exchange for real-world money in order to purchase virtual goods and decorations for their home.
What’s more – the company is now also offering a white-label version of their own software, thereby making it easy for advertisers to simply adopt a world from Secret Builders, rather than sink million of dollars into developing their own virtual world.
The average Secret Builders play is between 8 – 12 years of age, logs in approximately 3 times per week, and spends roughly 30 minutes playing.
To date, Secret World has raised over $4M and staffs 24 employees. Investors include The Entrepreneurs Fund; Michael Tanne, CEO of Adforce; David Jeseke, former director of applications at Google; Sheila Marcelo, CEO of Care.com; Carl Page, co-founder of eGroups; John Welch, CEO of Making Fun; Sohaib Abbasi, CEO of Informatica; Scott Hassan, co-founder of eGroups and founding team member at Google; Carlos Cashman, founder and CEO of CourseAdvisors, and Ken Morse, a professor at the MIT Sloan School and co-founder of 3Com.