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Virtual goods funding tops $69 million in first quarter

Providers of virtual goods and transaction platform raised more than $69 million in the first quarter of 2009. Somewhere in that money there is a real business model.

Dave Rosenberg Co-founder, MuleSource
Dave Rosenberg has more than 15 years of technology and marketing experience that spans from Bell Labs to startup IPOs to open-source and cloud software companies. He is CEO and founder of Nodeable, co-founder of MuleSoft, and managing director for Hardy Way. He is an adviser to DataStax, IT Database, and Puppet Labs.
Dave Rosenberg

Start-ups peddling virtual goods raised $69 million in funding in the first quarter of 2009, holding at a steady pace from the previous two quarters according to data from Show Initiative LLC.

I've long held the stance that virtual goods and services are an interesting way to make money online. What's not clear is what business models work and what segments of user populations are the best targets.

The amazing thing about the 10 financings listed below is how large they are. This indicates that VCs are betting big, or that the companies are giving away a lot of equity for the dollars. Nonetheless, it's good to see entrepreneurs raising money in a down economy.

First quarter 2009 financings:

  • IMVU - $10,000,000
  • ngmoco - $10,000,000
  • Nurien - $10,000,000
  • Offerpal Media - $15,000,000
  • Ohai - $6,000,000
  • OMGPOP - $5,000,000
  • OneSeason.com - $3,500,000
  • Scrapblog - $4,000,000
  • Viximo - $5,000,000
  • Three Melons - $600,000

Somewhere down the line these sites and perhaps more importantly, the platforms they've built for distribution and commerce, will have a great deal of value to larger players. It's still too early to tell what bet to take, but there are dollars out there somewhere.

Follow me on Twitter @daveofdoom