ROCKETON Raises $5 Million for a Parallel Virtual World

Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:08am EST

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What If a Virtual World Existed on Every Website?
SAN FRANCISCO--(Business Wire)--
ROCKETON, Inc., a venture-funded startup located in South San
Francisco, has closed its Series B round of financing with a $5
million investment from the D. E. Shaw group's venture capital unit.
This funding brings total amount invested to $5.8 million. The company
is building out a new type of virtual world that doesn't exist on a
single website, but, instead, is spread across the entire Internet.

   "What would it be like if people could take a virtual world with
them wherever they go on the Internet?" says Steven Hoffman, CEO of
ROCKETON. "The answer we came up with is a parallel experience, where
players rocket through cyberspace with their avatar and interact with
virtual environments on almost every website they visit."

   "What caught our attention about ROCKETON is the potential for a
new, real-time social interaction between people online," says Michael
Banks, a senior vice president of D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P. "We asked
ourselves, what if you took the next logical step beyond Facebook or
Second Life? How would that look? The result is a new way of
experiencing the Web."

   ROCKETON is focused on the convergence of personalization of
online identity, web-based community, and massively multiplayer online
games. "We're building games around social interaction," says Eric
Hayashi, VP of Business Development & Marketing at ROCKETON, "and
weaving this into the fabric of the Web."

   ROCKETON has an experienced management team that has worked at
high-profile game publishers, including SEGA, Vivendi-Universal, Sony
(SNE), Atari (ATAR), and Electronic Arts (ERTS). The team has been
quietly building out the technology and infrastructure for a parallel
virtual world that spans the Web since May 2007. The product is
currently in closed alpha.


   About The D. E. Shaw Group

   The D. E. Shaw group is a global investment and technology
development firm with more than 1,300 employees; approximately $35
billion in aggregate investment capital as of January 1, 2008; and
offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. Since its organization in
1988, the firm has earned an international reputation for financial
innovation, technological leadership, and an extraordinarily
distinguished staff.

   If you'd like more information, please contact us at

Eric Hayashi, 415-240-2040
VP Marketing and Business Development

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