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Venture capital and media firms have invested more than $161 million in 16 virtual-worlds-related companies during the second quarter of 2008 – and $345 million in the first six months of ’08, according to?info issued by Virtual Worlds Management.


The 2Q08 figure compares with $184 million invested in 23 virtual-worlds-related companies during the first quarter of 2008:


Though in Q1 some $16.03 million was invested in eight youth-oriented virtual worlds, in Q2 only the GirlSense acquisition and a $1.9 million investment (not included in final sum) in Akoha for what is being called a Massively Multiplayer Online Learning Game could fit that bill, Virtual Worlds Management said.

Investors have apparently begun setting their sites farther afield, pointing to “a future for the industry with broader implications, ranging from social applications to education to enterprise-level services,” according to the firm.

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