The youth beat goes on — Phonebites and IMVU score funding

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Phonebites, the San Francisco start-up that sells “bites” for audio clips which mobile phone users can download and then play during phone calls, has raised $7 million in a second round of funding led by Mayfield.

The company’s announcement is here. Six sounds are sold for about $3 to $4.

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Meanwhile Palo Alto’s IMVU has raised another $1 million from Atlanta-based angel investors the Seraph Group, according to VentureWire (sub required).

IMVU is offering teens what it calls a three-dimensional instant messaging service that combines social networking, virtual reality and e-commerce. And here too, teens are expected to pay for doodads like new hairstyles and costumes…


With IMVU’s technology – still in a beta version – users create a home page similar to a Friendster.com or MySpace profile, linking to friends’ pages and listing bands they like. But at IMVU, users design their own persona using a roster of three-dimensional animated characters, or “avatars,” and pick out clothing, hair styles and even pets.

IMVU is not the catchiest name, though, in our opinion.


VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying marketing analytics... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.