News from the KZero client roster: Gizmoz and Daz3D merge

Some coverage about new KZero clients Gizmoz and Daz3D.

Official press release:

DAZ 3D and Gizmoz Merge to Become Premier Publisher of Personalized 3D Characters, Software and Accessories

Fuels Growth of Virtual Goods Market for Improved Gaming, Virtual Worlds, and 3D Modeling and Animation; Benchmark Capital, Highway 12 Ventures and Columbia Capital Lead Funding

Draper, Utah and Tel Aviv, Israel – Dec. 16, 2009 – Seizing the opportunity to meet the increasing and diversified expectations of the virtual goods market, DAZ 3D and Gizmoz today announced a merger that will create the foremost online marketplace for high-quality and inter-compatible digital characters and accessories. With the largest community of active digital character artists, the merged company will allow users to experience personalized digital goods and identities across any platform.

“We are excited to announce the formation of a company dedicated to delivering digital goods with unprecedented life-like characteristics ideal for social networks, cross-platform gaming, 3D animation and development,” said Eyal Gever, president of the merged company and CEO and founder of Gizmoz. “By offering the most advanced mass-market 3D character creation technology, combined with a highly robust marketplace of 3D content, the company is perfectly in line with virtual goods market growth expectations of $3 billion by 2010.”

The combination of Gizmoz’s consumer-friendly, photo-realistic head reconstruction and online personalization service with DAZ 3D’s sophisticated full-figure content, desktop software tools and thriving community will provide creative professionals, gamers and consumers alike with a substantially more expansive virtual goods design center and marketplace. The merger will enhance distributive capabilities as well: the custom avatars can then be managed and seamlessly transported to any virtual environment or production pipeline. All characters and technologies can be used in PC and console games, social networks, video clips and mobile applications, as well as in professional modeling, animation and illustration projects.

“The combination of DAZ 3D and Gizmoz fills a true void within the industry. Now users can experience expansion into virtual worlds, cross-platform gaming, mobile applications and more, while maintaining high-quality results and endless creativity,” said Dan Farr, CEO of the merged company and previous DAZ 3D president and co-founder. “DAZ 3D customers have been demanding more personalized content and neighboring markets have requested we expand to meet their needs as well. With this merger our company is uniquely poised to provide extended portability, support and creativity to our ever-growing user base.”

DAZ 3D and Gizmoz also announced that existing investors participated in a new round of funding to focus on the significant market opportunity for character-centric virtual goods. Benchmark Capital, Highway 12 Ventures and Columbia Capital led the round, with participation from DOCOMO Capital and Village Ventures.

“From the very first mention of this merger idea, we immediately recognized the huge potential for such a comprehensive, united solution,” said Phil Reed, general partner, Highway 12 Ventures. “The company is creating a superior product offering that appeals to artists at any level, and that translates into enormous opportunity.”

The merged company plans to unveil its first new products designed to increase ease of use, portability and integration in Q1, 2010.

From Techcrunch:

My Virtual Head Would Look Great On Your Virtual Body! Gizmoz Merges With Daz 3D

Since Israeli startup Gizmoz launched three years ago, people have used its technology to create millions of 3D-realistic avatar heads from photos of themselves. But what good is a head without a body?

Gizmoz found a body—lots of them, actually—in a Utah-based company called Daz 3D. The two companies are merging. Existing investors, led by Benchmark Capital, Highway 12 Ventures, and Columbia Capital, are put in an additional $5.3 million into the new, yet-to-be-named company.

Previously, Gizmoz raised a total of $12.8 million, most recently $6.5 million in March, 2008 from the venture arm of Docomo, which also participated in the latest round. Daz 3D raised $4 million back in June, 2007, and targeted creative professionals as customers. Read more…..

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