Meebo raises $25 mn to fuel growth and revenue

Mumbai: Meebo announced a $25 million investment from a group of investors led by JAFCO Ventures, with participation from Time Warner Investments, KTB Ventures, and existing investors Sequoia Capital and Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ). Founded in September 2005, Meebo helps people connect live over the Web.

"Meebo is thrilled to work with JAFCO, Time Warner, and KTB to grow our business. Each investor brings unique and value-added perspective to us in areas that are central to executing our strategy," said Meebo CEO and co-founder Seth Sternberg.

More than 30 million people use Meebo to message in real-time with friends using, and through Meebo Rooms on thousands of sites throughout the Web, including over 50 leading content and community sites. In an era in which engagement is of paramount importance, the average user at spends over two hours on the site per day.

Launched in May 2007 as a social, syndicated version of Meebo, Meebo Rooms let people interested in the same topic connect live directly on sites with embedded Meebo Rooms. Meebo Rooms are used by major entertainment brands from all the major record labels and several properties from the CBS, Showtime, and MTV Networks.

Partners include music and television brands such as Ashley Tisdale, Big Brother After Dark, Chris Brown, Dashboard Confessional, Dexter, Gorillaz, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Madonna, Radiohead, R.E.M., Snoop Dogg, and Tori Amos.

"Meebo’s rapid adoption by users and partners is a testament to the team’s technical prowess, product sensibilities and business focus," said JAFCO Ventures general partner Joe Horowitz. "We believe the company is well positioned to be the de facto standard for live communication on the Web."

Social media communities and Facebook applications such as Armor Games, Gigya, New York Post, Piczo, Revision3, RockYou, Social Project, Sparkart, Tagged, Wasserman Media Group, and WaterCooler also use Meebo Rooms to increase engagement among their user base and connect people interested in similar topics and content.

Meebo also supports third party developers to integrate their services into Meebo, so Meebo users can play games, webcam, voice call, watch videos and do many other activities together with their friends. Developers include 3rd Sense, Absolutist, AddictingGames, BladeSix, Clearspring Technologies, Come2Play, Gamebrew, MediaGreenhouse, Mochi Media, Jiggmin, Kongregate, SonyBMG, TokBox, ZeroCode, and Zynga.

The company has recently hired a Chief Revenue Officer, and has entered into marketing partnerships with companies such as VideoEgg, CBS, PUMA, and all four major record labels. 2008 will see significant expansion of its marketing programs and partnerships.

"Meebo is working on a user centric approach to integrating ad experiences that can be shared by its user base," said Time Warner Investments senior vice president Rachel Lam. "Done right, this is an innovative and powerful solution for marketers and can enhance the company’s already impressive growth strategy."