Empire Avenue Raises $1.2M

Empire Avenue, the Canadian stock market simulation social network, has raised $1.2 million from investors including Crosslink Capital and iNovia Capital. Kevin Swan, Principal at iNovia Capital, and Eric Chin, Partner at Crosslink, worked on the transaction. Specifics were not publicized.


Empire Avenue’s Social Stock Market Raises $1.2 Million
San Francisco-Based Crosslink Capital Leads Canadian Startup’s Funding Round That
Includes iNovia Capital and BioWare Co-Founders Drs. Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk
August 16 – Edmonton, AB, Canada. Virtual investment economy begets not-so-virtual economic investment as Empire Avenue locks in $1.2 million in funding. The investment round is led by the exceptionally savvy team at San Francisco-based Crosslink Capital, whose portfolio includes Pandora, Bleacher Report and Carbonite, and also features iNovia Capital, with prior investments like Collective, Tynt and Well.ca, as well as BioWare co-founders Drs. Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk.
Empire Avenue is the world’s only social stock market, where you are the “company” and your product and value is determined by what you do online and the networks you create. A social platform centered on your social currency, the site allows everyone to embrace and grow their personal brand, make new value-based connections online and get the most out of social media. Empire Avenue offers a range of metrics to show users the value of their networks on sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Flickr. To coincide with today’s investment news, Empire Avenue has also added scoring for Foursquare and Instagram, solidifying its position as the most comprehensive measurement of network value.
Additional investors in this round carry a tremendous level of experience and expertise in the games and social spaces. Ben Narasin and TriplePoint Capital (who incubated Empire Avenue in Silicon Valley), former THQ and Take-Two executive Jeff Lapin, as well as Kevin Swan and Dr. Boris Wertz of Vancouver-based W Media Ventures, round out the investors in Empire Avenue, which now has users in more than 190 countries.
Rather than buying a fancy zeppelin or, say, a tank full of diamond-clad singing sharks, Empire Avenue will use the investment to grow its team and further expand its platform, which is already generating strong revenue thanks to sales of virtual goods, currency and partnerships for branded virtual items and Achievements.
“We’re really excited to be backed by such a respected group of investors, who’ve all shown that they believe in the long-term potential of our socially-driven economy,” said Duleepa Wijayawardhana, CEO of Empire Avenue. “We will be leveraging the experience and involvement of all our incredible investors to grow the company and explore new ideas, platforms and connections to further develop Empire Avenue.
It’s about to get really fun for us, our new and existing users, and the brands who have already partnered with us.”
“The Empire Avenue team has an ambitious long-term vision for its platform, and we’re excited to help them make that vision a reality,” said Eric Chin, Partner at Crosslink. “They already offer a great product that’s generating revenue and providing a lot of value to users from around the world by helping them build deep relationships and get insight into their social media engagement and network value. We have a lot of faith in the team’s ability to expand the platform into a very strong, profitable business.”
“We are really excited by the growth and future prospects of Empire Avenue,” said Kevin Swan, Principal at iNovia Capital. “Managing your online brand and social influence, as an individual or a company, has become extremely important in our digital age. Empire Avenue’s platform provides a fun and engaging way to measure and track your activity across the social web.”
Start building social capital to invest in people and brands around the world at http://empireavenue.com.