What is Metaplace? They are a startup company that creates custom virtual worlds. Users can decorate virtual apartments, music stages, or even create space action games. Metaplace has just raised $6.7 million from Charles River Ventures, Crescendo Ventures, Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz. Marc and Ben both founded Opsware and sold it to HP. To date, Metaplace has raised $9.4 million.
Metaplace is building their virtual platform in Flash using a drag+drop interface. Metaplace offers developers a full scripting engine, which is also used in Second Life.
The founders of Metaplace.com include Raph Koster and John Donham. Koster was COO of Sony Online at one point and served as the lead designer for Ultima Online and Ultima Online: The Second Age. Donham is a former VP of Sony where he saw the shipping of games such as EverQuest 2, Untold Legends, PlanetSide, etc.
“Building virtual worlds has always been the purview of large companies with deep pockets,” stated Raph Koster. “Our vision at Metaplace is to combine the ubiquity and ease of the Web with the immersive and addictive nature of video games to give everyday users the power to create a network of worlds based on their interests be it community, games, education or business. “In the coming years, as virtual places become a standard element of the Web, alongside text, audio, images, and video, Metaplace will be the engine that enables the transformation.”
Jason Hable is Metaplace’s VP of Business Ops. Prior to joining Metaplace, he was a Principal at Crescendo Ventures to oversee the investment. Hable worked at Wells Fargo to fund entrepreneurs. Hable has an MBA from University of Minnesota and an undergrad degree from the University of St. Thomas.
The whole Metaplace team includes artists, programmers, Olympic contestants, and even symphony musicians. Metaplace has about 25 employees and about 6 advisors.