Former Blizzard Employees Land $4.5 Million iFund Investment

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Macworld reports that Booyah, an iPhone-focused startup founded by three former employees of game publisher Blizzard Entertainment, has landed a $4.5 million investment from the iFund program offered by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). While details of the new venture are scarce, Booyah's three founders carry impressive credentials from their time at Blizzard.

Lee, the company's CEO and founder, was lead producer for Diablo III by Blizzard Entertainment, the newest edition of the "dungeon crawl" action game still in development. Prior to Blizzard Lee worked at Insomniac Games, where he was project manager and lead programmer for the Ratchet & Clank series. Morrisroe is chief creative officer and founder, and his background also includes time at Blizzard, where he was art director for Diablo III and art lead for World of Warcraft. Christiansen, the company's third founder and chief technology officer, was a senior programmer for Diablo III and also worked at Insomniac Games.

A press release on Booyah's site offers a vague description of the goals for the company:

Booyah is creating a playful life companion that combines the immersive experiences that draw consumers to massively multi-player online games, the interconnectedness of social media, and the power of iPhone and iPod touch.

"Imagine that you could play life by pursuing and sharing your passions," Keith Lee, CEO and co-founder, Booyah, said. "Booyah motivates you and others through a mobile companion, everywhere you go. You become a part of an ever-expanding social experiment, inspiring you to challenge yourself and be better at your life. We are incredibly excited to have Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and the iFund supporting us and guiding us in our vision."

The iFund was announced in March 2008 by KPCB as a $100 million fund to support companies developing applications and services for the iPhone and iPod touch. KPCB announced its first group of iFund investment recipients in September 2008.

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