Several big changes at avatar-based social-networking service Meez ... The company is merging with Pulse Entertainment, a mobile entertainment platform also built around avatars. Meez' service is primarily Web- and IM-based, with brand sponsorship of virtual goods like clothing and accessories for the avatars, while carriers like *AT&T* and *Verizon* Wireless offer subscribers Pulse's animated messages. Both companies are based in San Francisco, and the new joined entity will use the name Meez.
The merger creates a new executive lineup both at Meez and parent company Donnerwood Media, with John Cahill as the new CEO. Formerly president and COO, he took the place of CEO/founder Sean Ryan in December. Ryan is now Donnerwood's non-executive chairman. Paul Anderson is now president and joins the company's board. He was formerly Pulse's CEO. Jeff Lipton is now VP, business development at Meez. He was formerly Pulse's president.
Donnerwood also picked up what Cahill calls a "small debt financing round," led by Anthem Venture Partners. The amount was undisclosed, but Cahill said it should help the merged companies "quickly reach profitability." Donnerwood has disclosed $9.7 million worth of funding in all. Release.
By Tameka Kee