Metaplace Secures $6.7 Million for Virtual Worlds

Metaplace, the open-access virtual world that allows users to build and share their own animated communities, said today that it has collected $6.7 million in new financing, raising the startup’s funding total to $9.4 million.

The funding hails from four investors: existing backers Charles River Ventures and Crescendo Ventures, as well as new financiers Ben Horowitz and internet guru Marc Andreessen (best known for his role as Mosaic co-author and Netscape founder).

The San Diego-based company was started under the name Areae, Inc., by two Sony veterans who specialized in massively multiplayer games, Raph Koster and John Donham. Now officially known as Metaplace, the company has just begun invitation-only beta testing.

In a press release issued today, Koster says that the company’s aim is to create an open-platform space in which users can create a system of interlocking worlds, combining “the ubiquity and ease of the Web with the immersive and addictive nature of video games.”

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