Still playing the funding game

Chris White of BigLittleBang.
Chris White of BigLittleBang.

BigLittleBang (Star86)

Kiwi-grown kids' virtual world BigLittleBang has several new staff and a new name since pocketing $1.2 million ($200,000 more than the target) at the close of its capital round this year.

It made some useful connections at the 2012 Angel Summit, but didn't secure any capital directly, says founder and chief executive Chris White.

"Every pitch is worthwhile because it helps you hone your skills and get feedback," he notes. But as with all the companies pitching, last year's Summit was just one of a series of pitches an emerging company does when it raises capital.

Since pocketing the proceeds, White has hired new staff: the company's first full-time United States employee; a chief marketing officer, whose sole role is to market the company in the US; and a new chief technical officer, to move the product on to the growing number of media devices on the market.

Given that it is now a multiple product company, White has adopted the firm's holding company - Drumleaf - as its main company name, while its virtual world is now called Star86, after competitor LittleBigPlanet began making confusing inroads into the market.

Star86 now has more than 500,000 members - 41 per cent of them in the US, compared with just 10 per cent at the time of the summit. "We're making revenues now, but we're not at breakeven as we're still trying to grow as fast as we can."

White is now targeting Germany, Japan and South Korea. But to do this as quickly as he wants to, he needs more capital and the right partners, he says. Given the firm's US presence, he hopes to tap a few US investors this time.

- NZ Herald

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