IMVU has been fairly quiet about its success in virtual chat rooms, where people can create their own dressed-up 3-D characters and socialize in graphically beautiful settings.But today it’s starting to trumpet loudly that it has established a strong business with a million annual revenue run rate.Some folks like to joke that it’s all sex chat, since there are a lot of racy avatars in IMVU.But Rosenzweig says it’s not a predominant part of the experience.Developers can get training on 3-D artistry and within a very short time upload their creations for a nominal credit fee.They keep the vast majority of the credits proceeds from sales of their virtual goods.
If the company keeps up its momentum, it will have a shot at generating the kind of highly profitable larger business that publicly traded chat/virtual world companies in China have seen.
Most recently it raised million in January from Best Buy Capital, Menlo Ventures, Allegis Capital, and Bridgescale Partners.
Rivals include Facebook and My Space on the social networking level. Rosenzweig said there are plenty of avenues for expansion in the future.
But IMVU’s virtual spaces are limited to rooms or scenes (like the beach or an estate), and its content is user-generated.
That means that IMVU doesn’t have to buy or lease a lot of new servers or hire a lot of artists as it adds more users or catalog items.