The company of the day is Fresbo World, based in Singapore. Fresbo World is a browser-based virtual world that recreates the Lego experience online. You will find below an interview with Vincent Ng, co-founder of Fresbo World. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
Interview with Vincent Ng, co-founder of Fresbo World
Who are you?
I'm Vincent Ng, one of the co-founders behind Fresbo World. Fresbo World is a browser-based virtual world that recreates the Lego experience online.
What did you do before creating your company?
I was a software engineer with ST Electronics for about a year.
How did you get the idea? What s the genesis?
The idea came about sometime in 2005, where my partner, Low Bingjiang has developed a prototype virtual world engine for his honors year project. We felt that there is an opportunity to further develop the engine into something bigger.
What do you sell? What is your company’s mission?
We sell creative exploration in a social context. The slogan for Fresbo World is Think, Build, Play. Our users are encouraged to be creative with the building blocks available to them and build creations which they can play with their friends. Some examples include fun houses, neighborhoods, mazes and even roller coaster rides.
What is your market?
Our market is mainly teens and females.
Any clients? References? Partners?
Funding history? VCs? BA?
We've received an iJam grant from MDA in August 2006 to kick start the development and it brought us to launch in April 2008. We've also recently received another New Media Content grant from MDA in Jan 2009.
Since launch, we have 500k registered users and deployed onto 4 major social networks, namely Facebook, MySpace, Friendster and Bebo.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We have 7 employees of which 4 are developers.
Are you hiring? If yes, what? Where?
Yes we're looking for 2D and 3D artists as well as designers locally.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
Our client runs in Adobe Flash as it is usually pre-installed with Windows and this will help with reducing user friction. Our server is developed in Java.
Do you have any Software IP? Is there something that you’re the only one to do on the market?
We have IP on the virtual world engine which we have developed over 2 years. It's called HADES, which stands for Highly Available Distributed Environment Server. We believe we're the only virtual world right now that functions as a meta-hub across social networks. Players from Facebook and interact with players on Myspace via our virtual world.
Who’s your role model?
Hmm I don't think I have one.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet areas?
The gaming industry is touted to be recession-proof and it seems to be holding up. It will be a good time to start building games with the current economic climate.
Looking for funding? If yes, how much?
We're looking to raise another 1 to 1.5mil USD to further develop the product and marketing.
What about the BizSpark Program? What do you think? Are you going to join? Why?
The program is a good idea. How I wish this program started earlier so we could have leveraged on it when we just started.
Any advice to young Software entrepreneurs?
Constantly push beyond your comfort zone and you will be surprised at what you can accomplish.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Know what you are working towards and leverage on your passion to achieve it.