Woozworld has raised $3 million in a first round of funding for a tween-focused virtual world.
The Montreal-based company is spinning off from parent Tribal Nova so that it can concentrate on building a world for tweens, a age group which embraces kids aged 9 to 14. Investors included Canadian venture firms Inovia Capital and ID Capital.
Woozworld already has 350,000 members and a million user-generated virtual places after launching in December. The product lets tweens build worlds where they can engage with their peers, design their own spaces, set up activities, and manage a business. Previously, Tribal Nova was focused on developing a virtual world for children dubbed Kid Studio.
Eric Brassard, chief executive of Woozworld, said the company plans to expand offerings for users and accelerate its market traction. On average, users visit the site for 45 minutes, and 70 percent of daily traffic is made up of returning users.
It will be worth watching to see if Woozworld can grow. It currently has 30 employees — and considerable competition, from Disney’s Club Penguin to startups such as Fantage. A number of virtual-world companies have gone out of business recently, including Metaplace, There.com, Forterra and Vivaty.