Index Ventures Invests US$4 Million in Stardoll.com
STOCKHOLM, Sweden, February 16 /PRNewswire/ --
- Mattias Miksche Joins as CEO
Stardoll.com (formerly known as Paperdoll Heaven), the online dress-up and make-over destination, has secured a US$4m Series A investment from Index Ventures and angel investors. Mattias Miksche, serial entrepreneur responsible for DVD rental site Boxman and E-TRADE Northern Europe, joins as CEO.
Stardoll.com began as the brainchild of Scandinavian-born Liisa, a retired woman in her late 50s. Inspired by her childhood passion for paper dolls, Liisa drew dolls and accompanying wardrobes and also taught herself web design. Rapidly her personal homepage became a destination site for teens. In 2004, with the help of her son, she upgraded the site and named it Paperdoll Heaven.
"I wanted to create a positive online environment for young girls who are creative and interested in fashion. They are looking for alternatives to shoot 'em up and kill 'em up games," said Liisa, founder of Stardoll.com. "Most online sites and video games are focused on violence and competitiveness. Stardoll.com encourages creativity and community in a safe environment for young girls and teenagers."
Since its inception, the company has gained popularity with girls young and old from more than 190 countries. The site offers visitors more than 320 dolls and tens of thousands of garments and accessories. Relying solely on word-of-mouth, the company has built a global membership base exceeding 900,000 and attracts more than one million unique visitors each week (Data source: TNS Metrix data, February 2006).
"Stardoll.com is a web phenomenon," said Danny Rimer, general partner, Index Ventures. "When we saw the website we immediately knew Liisa was hitting a nerve and serving a previously ignored audience. We're thrilled to be backing Liisa, Mattias and the team as they work to give the Stardoll.com community the attention it deserves."
In addition to the funding, the company also announces the addition of Mattias Miksche as CEO. Miksche brings significant experience in online communities as a former founder and CEO of E-trade in Germany & Scandinavia and Boxman, which was recently sold to UK-based Lovefilm. Miksche will oversee product and commercial development.
"Stardoll.com is popular because it is simple, entertaining and unique," said Mattias Miksche, CEO, Stardoll.com. "Liisa has created a compelling site for an under-served demographic. Danny Rimer and the Index Ventures team are among the best investors in consumer internet businesses and I'm thrilled to have them onboard."
Stardoll.com, formerly known as Paperdoll Heaven, is an online dress-up and makeover community for girls of all ages. The Stardoll.com site features more than 320 dolls and tens of thousands of garments and accessories. It has a global membership base that currently exceeds 900,000 from more than 190 countries. The Company is headquartered in Stockholm and also has operations in Finland.
About Index Ventures
Index Ventures is a leading European venture capital firm active in technology venture investing since 1996. The firm is dedicated to helping top entrepreneurial teams both in the Information Technology and Life Science sectors build their companies into market defining global leaders. The firm has offices in Geneva, London and Jersey and focuses its investment activity primarily on Europe and Israel. Investments include Betfair (the world's largest betting exchange); Skype (the pioneering communications company, recently acquired by eBay); MySQL (the world's most popular open source database); Photoways (Europe's largest online photo-processing service) FON (the global wifi network) and VideoIsland (Europe's largest DVD rental business). www.indexventues.com
Web site: http://www.indexventures.com http://www.stardoll.com
SOURCE Index Ventures
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