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Sequoia Plays With StarDoll

Sequoia Capital Partners, which normally focuses on US-based start-ups is reported to have made an investment in Stardoll.com (formerly known as Paperdoll Heaven.) The total amount of funds invested in the company remain unknown, but highly reliable sources say that Sequoia Capital General Partner Mark Kvamme invested in the company.

Back in February 2006, Index Ventures and angel investors had invested about $4 million in the company, and Mattias Miksche, serial entrepreneur responsible for DVD rental site Boxman and E-TRADE Northern Europe taking over as the chief executive of the company. This is not the first company Sequoia and Index are co-investors. The two firms are also backers of FON Wireless.

The company was started by Scandinavian-born Liisa, a retired woman in her late 50s, who drew dolls and accompanying wardrobes and put them on the web. The site, since then has grown in popularity and gets more than a million visitors every week, most of them girls between ages 7 and 17. It now features paper dolls of famous people including actresses Lindsay Lohan and Bollywood temptress Ashwariya Rai.

17 Responses to “Sequoia Plays With StarDoll”

  1. Personally, I think that Stardoll is indeed cool as it is one of the only girls websites on the whole of the web, most of them are boys webby sites. I think the main aspect they could improve on is the fashion, why not ask us on the website for ideas on the fashion that we waer these days!

  2. Entelekhia

    I think that Stardoll isn’t creating new markets. It is just offering something new and compelling to relatively underserved and big market segment – girls.

  3. if I could, I would invest in Stardoll. I posted a tiny post on it, with a link, on my blog two month ago, just because it was cute and reminded me of paper dolls of my childhood. Since then, it has been a stat phenomenon, bringing to my humble little blog hundreds of visitors, from canada, France, Morocco, israel, Africa, you name it. If one can judge perspective on this, it’s going to be big.

  4. Just thinking a bit more strategically, this is a great example of blue ocean strategy where you think different from the crowd and create new markets. Most of the other startups out there are trying to get the attention of this demographic by dishing out more games or enabling them to socialize with each other better. This can disrupt the existing monopolies of Mattel (Barbie)

    http://rajatgupta.wordpress.com/2006/06/23/stardoll-you-paper-doll-heaven/

    rajAT