Turbine land $40M in financing, prepares to party like it's 1999

by: Chuck -
Turbine is officially flush full of cash as the company announced today that they have secured $40 in equity financing from Time Warner and GGV capital. The press release doesn't say what the money will specifically be used for but this is a good sign that their Lord of the Rings Online MMO is going to be around for a while.  From a speculation point of view you'd have to think that money is going towards either a new game or to fund an expansion of the existing platform.  Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.
TURBINE SECURES $40 MILLION IN FINANCING



Time Warner Inc. and GGV Capital

Join Existing Partners in Fueling Online Game Leader’s Growth



WESTWOOD, MA -- June 4, 2008 -- Turbine, Inc. today announced that it has raised $40 million in equity financing. Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) and GGV Capital, a leader in expansion-stage venture capital investments in the U.S. and China, led the investment along with existing investors, Highland Capital Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, Tudor Ventures and Columbia Capital. The investment will be used to further accelerate Turbine’s growth as a global leader in online entertainment.



“This is truly an exciting time for Turbine. The addition of Time Warner, one of the world’s largest media companies, and GGV Capital, one of the financial community’s most sophisticated investors, adds a level of access, perspective and experience to Turbine that is singularly unique in the global online entertainment space,” said Jim Crowley, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. “Turbine has an extraordinary team, incredible technology and a growing portfolio of games based on some of the most popular brands ever created. With this funding we are uniquely positioned to change the future of online entertainment as we bring new titles to market, expand the platforms we support and introduce new technologies to sustain self-evolving game worlds.”



An online entertainment veteran, Turbine is recognized globally for its industry-leading technology platform, groundbreaking game graphics and its exceptional ability to create and operate multiple massive, persistent online worlds that power hundreds of thousands of interactive social gaming experiences. The company currently operates three award-winning franchises around the globe and is one of the largest privately-held online gaming studios in North America.



“Our investment in Turbine is an important addition to Time Warner's entertainment initiatives,” said Rachel Lam, Senior Vice President and Group Managing Director of Time Warner Investments. “Online interactive entertainment is a huge growth market and we are very excited about Turbine, its unique capabilities and the obvious opportunities that exist with our own broad portfolio of IP.”



“The demand for massively multiplayer online worlds is exploding both geographically and in terms of platforms served,” said Hany Nada, managing partner, GGV Capital. “Turbine is a proven leader in massively interactive online entertainment and the incredible technology that supports it. We look forward to marrying our strengths both here and in Asia with Turbine’s unique capabilities.”



In April 2007, Turbine launched The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™, the first and only MMORPG based on the books of J.R.R. Tolkien, and has quickly established itself as an emerging leader. The Lord of the Rings Online was named PC Game of the Year 2007 at the 25th Annual Golden Joystick awards and The New York Times proclaimed it “a major achievement of interactive storytelling, the first game truly worthy of the 'Lord of the Rings' franchise and a must-play for just about anyone with an interest in Tolkien or the future of online entertainment.” Turbine also created and operates Dungeons & Dragons Online™, which was named Best Multiplayer Game of 2006 by the British Academy of Television & Arts, and Asheron’s Call®, which was named one of the Top 50 Games of All Time by GameSpy and is one of the longest running massively multiplayer online games in the industry.



About Turbine

Turbine, Inc. is the premier creator and operator of massive, persistent online worlds that foster powerful social gaming communities. Turbine has grown to become one of the largest privately-held online gaming studios in North America. Turbine has created some of the world’s most popular and award-winning online games, including The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™, Dungeons & Dragons Online™ and Asheron's Call®. For more information on Turbine, its products and services please visit www.turbine.com.



About Time Warner Investments

The Time Warner Investments group targets non-control strategic investments that have a clear impact on Time Warner's divisional operations and directly enhance the Company's ability to meet specific strategic goals. Time Warner Inc. is a leading media and entertainment company, whose businesses include interactive services, cable systems, filmed entertainment, television networks and publishing. For more information, please visit: www.timewarnerinvestments.com.



About GGV Capital

GGV CapitalTM is a leader in expansion-stage venture capital investments in the United States and Asia. Focused on driving expansion-stage innovation worldwide, GGV Capital’s highly diverse team manages over $1 billion from its offices in Silicon Valley, Shanghai, and Singapore. The firm invests across a range of sectors in information technology, services and healthcare, as well as the consumer growth sector in China. GGV Capital has provided capital and helped accelerate international expansion for its worldwide portfolio of high-growth companies, particularly in the U.S. and China. GGV Capital’s portfolio includes Alibaba (HKSE:1688), athenahealth (NASDAQ: ATHN), Boston-Power, BCD Semiconductor, Endeca, hiSoft, QuinStreet, SuccessFactors (NASDAQ: SFSF), and WildTangent. For more information, please visit www.ggvc.com.



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“The Lord of the Rings Online,” “Shadows of Angmar,” “The Lord of the Rings,” and the names of the characters, events, items and places therein are trademarks or registered trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises under license to Turbine, Inc. Turbine and the Turbine logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Turbine, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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