Shaker won the TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield 2011 in San Francisco. Shaker beat the other six finalists out of the 30 start-ups that entered the competition for the $50,000 Disrupt Cup prize.
Shaker, founded by Yonatan Maor, Ofer Rondstein, Yonatan Kaseh and Gad Maor, is the second Israeli winner of the prize, after anti-frustration software company Soluto Ltd. won it in May 2010.
Shaker has developed a Facebook app - a virtual bar, where each person has a virtual character that moves around in a bar and can speak with other people and join existing conversations. TechCrunch writes, "Shaker is a mixture of Second Life, The Sims, and Turntable.fm all mixed together using your Facebook data and connections. Your Facebook profile becomes a walking avatar, your pictures are placed on a virtual wall, you can choose what music is playing in the room for everyone to hear and you can even buy people drinks."
Shaker has raised $3 million from Pitango Venture Capital. The company will likely raise more capital following the attention gained from winning the TechCrunch Disrupt Cup.
The game received 80,000 monthly average users (MAUs) in a matter of weeks, and had to block invitations. People were complaining that the bars are too crowded, and users were spending impressive amounts of time within the app. Without any PR, the game was able to attract attention and the startup had to shut down invites to 540 people.
Farmigo Ltd., the other Israeli finalist, failed to win the top prize.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 15, 2011
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011