SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Rounds announced today it has secured an additional $3 million investment to expand its interactive "live hangout" platform combining real-time communication and rich applications for easy and fun face-to-face socializing online. The investment was led by Verizon Investments Inc. (Verizon) with follow-on funding from Rhodium as well as new participation from DFJ's Tim Draper.
The new funding will enable Rounds to extend its web-based "communitainment" solution beyond its popular Facebook application to other consumer social networks as well as mobile devices, making it possible to reach a larger audience in today's preferred digital environments. Rounds will focus on bringing premium games and activities through partnerships as well as creating more rich content by expanding its community of developers that are using the Rounds API.
Rounds allows users to meet friends as well as new people in a cross-platform environment where they can communicate face to face by video chat, play real-time games, watch YouTube videos together, share pictures, listen to music, take photo booth snapshots and apply funny webcam effects in a safe, fun setting that simulates a real-world game room. The free service already boasts more than three million users from around the world and more than 650,000 daily Rounds sessions.
"The mobile industry is one of the next frontiers for the Rounds platform, and having Verizon as our strategic investor will aid us in our efforts as we move forward. In addition to our lead investors Rhodium, who have supported us from the beginning, we have the pleasure of working with Tim Draper, one of the lead venture capitalists in the world. These are significant contributors who will play an important role in our next phase of growth," said Rounds CEO and co-founder Dany Fishel.
"Today's user wants a truly live multimedia experience that spans video calling, social networking, games and other fun applications. Rounds had the vision to build a platform that delivers in all three areas," Draper said. "We believe they are pioneering the future of social interaction in the digital world."
Rounds is the only "communitainment" platform in the world, combining video chat (communication) and social apps (entertainment) into one fun real-time consumer experience available across operating systems and devices. Rounds users enjoy the closest experience to actually hanging out in the real world. The company was founded in 2008 and has raised a total of $5.5 million in funding. The Rounds Video Chat Facebook Application can be added at http://apps.facebook.com/chatrounds. For more information, visit http://www.rounds.com or contact Natasha Shine-Zirkel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rhodium is a private investment firm based in Israel and NY which is dedicated to identifying promising entrepreneurs and to helping them build thriving companies. The firm focuses on opportunities in the digital media space (Internet, mobile & new-media) and innovative technologies in general. Rhodium portfolio companies include, among others, Outbrain, face.com, Guerillapps, HopStop, GreenSQL, Hashable, and ZooZ. www.rhodium.co.il
About Verizon Ventures
Verizon Ventures, through Verizon Investments Inc., a subsidiary of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), seeks and invests in promising entrepreneurial companies to drive innovation in Verizon. For more information, see http://newscenter.verizon.com/kit/verizon-ventures-/
About Tim Draper
Tim Draper is the founder of the global venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ). He continues the legacy of his family and is third in a line of venture capitalists. Tim draper invested in the company through his Draper Associates RiskMaster Fund.