TechZulu’s Traveling Geeks Diary
[This post is part of a series of interviews TechZulu conducted in Paris with the Traveling Geeks, an organization dedicated to identifying and sharing the latest innovations between the US and other parts of the world.]
At the LeWeb conference, German startup Club Cooee showed off its desktop 3D instant messaging service as part of the Microsoft BizSpark program. According to Club Cooee Managing Director Stefan Lemper, the application, “…enriches text-based messaging with a full, 3D virtual world and a real-time community.” Club Cooee is attempting to turn chat into a more personal experience by using avatars to add the subtle emotions text lacks.
The original idea behind Club Cooee came from the notion that instant messaging hasn’t changed significantly since its inception. The founders, who come from gaming, decided to apply their knowledge of the space to IM in a way that would put social media in a more personal, 3D environment.
Club Cooee uses a freemium service model, with the upsell focused on the sale of virtual goods. The client installs at just 3MB, but the downside is currently that the service does not support incoming text messages or Web interfaces. We’d like to see these options added in the future.
Club Cooee was founded in 2007, and has received an undisclosed round of seed funding from Aurelia Private Equity. Coincidentally, Lemper was the partner responsible for Internet and Software investments at the time, and chose to transfer his focus to Club Cooee.
The service targets a broad range of people, from teens to thirty-somethings, equally split between men and women. The current user base resides in Germany, the United States and Asia. Russian and Portugeuse will be the next languages supported.
There are plans for a mobile Club Cooee application, however, it will not be available until Q3 2010.
To download the application, visit www.clubcooee.com