The latest in Silicon Valley:
Doppelganger raise $5M more for virtual world focused on teens — Doppelganger is the San Francisco start-up taking aim at the teen, or MTV audience (see our earlier coverage). It launched last year with a virtual club featuring the band the Pussycat Dolls, and is signing deals with other bands. Teens can design their avatars, chat with other sexy avatars, including of the band members themselves, and dance. Chief executive Andrew Littlefield says (listen to podcast) there’s a void between SecondLife, which he says appeals to a slightly older sci-fi crowd, and Habbo Hotel, which appeals to the Nickelodeon crowd. Doppelganger’s lounges integrate with AOL’s Instant Messenger, allowing teens to use existing Buddy Lists. It has raised $5 million in a third round led by Greycroft Partners, a New York-based firm whose West Coast office is run by former VSP partner Dana Settle. This follows $11 million in earlier rounds from Trident Capital and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Of course, there’s the ongoing legal battles around VSP that are ongoing (Primack has latest).
Draper backs sex toy company — Speaking of DFJ investments, turns out DFJ’s party-hardy extrovert partner Tim Draper is behind the new San Francisco sex-toy company, JimmyJane, we wrote about recently. Alex Haislip has the scoop. Draper is joined by Phil Schlein, a venture partner at U.S. Venture Partners. Things are apparently livening up on traditionally conservative Sand Hill Road.
Another DEMO mention: Jaman â€” This site, just launched, lets you download a video player so you can watch “world cinema” online, or foreign movies you can’t get easily. We downloaded the player, and it is nice enough. It costs $1.99 to rent the movies, and $4.99 to buy, but we’re not sure how this rises above the noise, or how it got to DEMO. There are lots of other movie companies, and players. More at GigaOM (which links to a full history of this Palo Alto company)