3D social networking company gets $10m follow on

Seoul-based Nurien Software, whose product allows users to create 3D avatars in online virtual worlds, will use the $10m second round funding to fine tune its platform and expand its online gaming services.

Northern Light Venture Capital has led Globespan Capital Partners, New Enterprise Associates and Qiming Venture Partners to invest $10 million in a second round of funding for Nurien Software, a developer of social networking and online gaming services.

Northern Light Venture Capital and Qiming Venture Partners are China-focused venture capital firms. New Enterprise Associates makes investments in the US, China and India while Globespan Capital Partners is focused on the US and Japan.

Nurien: part of the virtual world trend

Nurien’s platform allows users to create one-of-a kind 3D avatars and objects; share photos, videos and messages; and participate in Nurien-created social applications all within their own 3D rooms.

“With the funding, we’ll be able to perfect our platform and bring on more content, game and customisation features in the next year,” said Taehoon Kim, co-founder of Nurien, in a statement.

In April 2008, Nurien received $15 million from the same firms in its first round of funding. It has since released a version of its service in South Korea while full scale launches are planned for international markets in 2009, according to the company.

Digital communications research firm In-Stat predicts that the number of registered users of virtual worlds will reach more than $1 billion and the total revenue will surpass $3 billion by 2012.