Welcome back to Baby Breakerdom! This week we find that some people play their way to serious money, that TV on the go could be the new new thing, and that recruiters want to meet you online.
Many here at Rule Breaker HQ are fans of massively multiplayer online games. That's one of the reasons why Chinese gamers NetEase (Nasdaq: NTES ) and Shanda Interactive (Nasdaq: SNDA ) are on our list of Rule Breakers. Now venture capitalists (VCs) are entering the arena with both thumbs, so to speak. Two international players in the sector received funding Wednesday, starting with U.K.-based Midasplayer.com, which secured $41.5 million in its A round. Midasplayer targets thirtysomething gamers who like chess, word games, or other contests of skill through a portal that manages tournaments. Participants wager on the outcome and winners keep the spoils. Apparently, the idea is catching on. Midasplayer says it hosts millions of players from more than 50 countries. (Notably, the site is available in eight languages and four currencies, according to VentureWire.) Oslo, Norway-based Funcom, maker of science fiction role-playing game Anarchy Online, also got in on this week's action with $6.1 million in funding.
When we're not playing games, more than a few of us sidle up to the boob tube. Now, VCs are hoping that we'll want to take our favorite shows with us. VentureWire reports that French company DiBcom, which makes chips that power receivers for mobile TV, landed EUR24.5 million in its fourth round of funding. Intel's (Nasdaq: INTC ) capital group was involved in the round and will help DiBcom roll out its technology in Intel's Xscale and Centrino chip platforms.
Recruiting calls are sooooo yesterday. At least you'd think so from the attention given Jobster, which received $19.5 million in second-round financing on Tuesday. Mayfield, which is also an investor in The Motley Fool, led the round. Jobster resembles referral network LinkedIn in that recruiters use email invites to get contacts to bring their friends and associates into an online network. Once there, they can refer those they know for available jobs or apply themselves. The appeal of Jobster's approach, reports VentureWire, is that it attracts talented professionals who are not yet looking for gigs, but might be open to something new. Mayfield director Allen Morgan put it more succinctly: "... the best people to hire are the people who are not looking for jobs."
Once again, there's nothing new to report in public offerings. But, as always, we'll keep looking.
Finally, all of us here at The Motley Fool would like to express our sincere sympathies to those with loved ones and friends affected by Hurricane Katrina. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. The following organizations are front and center helping with the hurricane relief effort and can use your donations:
See you back here next week.
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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is frighteningly curious to see how Martha Stewart does with an apprentice. Yikes. Tim owned stock in none of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. You can find out what's in his portfolio by checking Tim's Fool profile, which is here. The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.