Anshe Chung defines relationship with WSE

This morning, World Stock Exchange CEO LukeConnell Vandeverre provided SLOz with a notecard which in his is “the announcement I was provided to post at will”. It’s an explanation by Anshe Chung of her relationship to investment in SL and the WSEWe’ve posted the full text below:

“Dear fellow pioneers in the Metaverse economy,

As interest in this topic increased recently, I think it is time to let you know a little bit about what role my company and I played in regards to seed and venture capital in Second Life and what you can and can’t expect in the future.

Since summer 2004 I have actively and with very significant funds supported almost 100 startup businesses and non-profit projects in Second Life. Some of these have been successful and are widely known, others failed. We talk about more than L$60 million that I, and later ACS, have invested in people’s ideas, creating opportunities.

Most of these investments, even some donations to non-profit projects, I decided to keep low profile and not disclose to the public. This has several reasons. The first is, that when I am helping the newbies I am helping the newbies for the sake of helping the newbies and not for PR. The second is, that I don’t want the newbies to become collateral targets of bad people who tend to go after prominent targets and whatever they can associate with these. The third reason is that I tend to be pretty hands-off with most of these ventures.

I also noticed that some people, especially newbie investors, think something is “safe” when they hear “Anshe is involved”. This is not the case when it comes to undisclosed seed and venture investments. There is a fundamental dilema between giving newbies a chance and excluding fraud or risk. What is worse, some people even confuse the role of an investor with the role of somebody who is actively involved in management.

I would be careful with businesses who advertise to you that I am an investor. You will most likely not be facing the best investments in my basket, because the really well managed and trustworthy companies will not have to advertise their shares to you by revealing my investment without my consent. In some cases I might not even be an investor.

In the future I don’t plan to change much about this. I will be launching the Dreamland Stock Exchange (DSE) that aims to bring a small number of companies on as IPO’s that will have gone through a rigorous review by me and my team. However the “majority” of SL ventures will be traded on exchanges such as the World Stock Exchange.

I hope the WSE will continue to grow, especially after the huge investment I have made to support Luke’s project. I look forward to the new shareholder voting features along with the increased measures to deal with fraud and insider trading. Please understand that I am in no way involved in the management or decision making at Hope Capital Ltd and the WSE. Like all of you, I hope that everyone in charge will remain honest and professional.

Wishing you and your money a nice time, much fun and I hope your Linden$ will have many babies!

Yours,

Anshe Chung”

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This message from Anshe Chung is certainly taking a conciliatory line in relation to investment in SL and her encouragement of increased transparency measures for WSE will likely assist its legitimacy amidst some regular criticism of its operations. Transparency of such operations, whether they be the WSE or DSE will be pivotal to instill the level of confidence required to ensure either virtual institution moves beyond the support they currently have.

World Stock Exchange expands, partners with World Internet Currency

The World Stock Exchange (WSE) run by Australian Luke Connell (LukeConnell Vandeverre) has announced its expansion in both a geographic and business sense. A location move to Silicon Island has occurred with promise of a fully independent sim online in the future.


The WSE in its original location

On the human resource front, a “full-time” Chief Operating Officer, Executive Assistant and three ‘WSE consultants’ have come on board. No disclosure occurred in the announcement of any share options or other remuneration that would be given to the new staff. Of interest is that one of the three WSE consultants, Adonis Action, is the “current owner of Action Mortgage &
Investment (AMI)”, which is listed on the WSE itself.

Integration of the World Internet Currency with WSE was also announced – more on this in a future story. Linked to this is the following statement by Luke Connell:

“The WIC will is a key part of our overall strategic plan and in anticipation to the integration of the WIC and WSE we have approved many IPO’s that pass the WSE Listing Rules, Terms of Service and Constitution.

The increased number of IPO’s has minimal impact on the overall market and almost no impact on the ability for a solid business with a detailed prospectus and reasonable marketing to raise the capital they require by successfully filling their IPO and being what is called fully subscribed”.

At SLOz we’d be interested in perspectives on the above claim – that a sudden surge in IPO approvals would have “minimal” impact.

Finally, the announcement discloses the potential for a close alliance with Anshe Chung, described in the following way:

“Anshe Chung is major shareholder of Hope Capital Ltd and of many companies listed on the WSE. Anshe has launched her own exchange with a focus on listing her own companies called Dreamland Stock Exchange. Most companies will still be listed on the WSE. We expect the DSE to be an ethical exchange that holds strong virtues. This is the only exchange that will have a close alliance to the WSE”.

We’ll be following up this story in coming days including an attempt to clarify the context of a “close alliance” with Anshe Chung.

Business headcount – a different perspective

Over at New World Notes, Hamlet Au discusses SL as the great equaliser for businesses of all sizes – that the relatively low traffic to large corporate sites (as a proportion of overall traffic) and the relative ease of content creation means that smaller operations including individuals can punch well above their weight on one of the more even playing fields.

It’s analogous to the general situation of Australians in Second Life – we’re out there making ourselves known, belying the small proportion of the overall SL population we are. I wouldn’t disagree with Au’s summation: “if these companies ever stand a chance of being relevant in SL, they will have to learn from the amateurs, and adjust their expectations and approach to their grassroots level”. It’s a lesson that’s started to have been taken on board locally.

AIIA makes its SL debut

The Australian Information Industry Association is a peak body representing the Australian Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry. In their own words:

“AIIA sets the strategic direction of the ICT industry, influences public policy, engages industry stakeholders and provides member companies with business productivity tools, advisory services and market intelligence to accelerate their business growth.”

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Their in-world presence provides a kiosk and presentation area – expect a number of events in coming months on SL and its relationship to the Australian ICT industry.

Check it out in-world

Doing Business in Second Life by Skribe Forti

Aussie SL resident Skribe Forti has directed a machinima video entitled ‘Doing Business in Second Life’. Skribe is part of virtual marketing firm Inside This World and the video provides their perspective on Second Life and its business opportunities.

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A figure of $40 000 figure for development costs on an island is quoted as a ballpark for business. That amount of money could certainly be spent (and more) but I’m also aware of a number of islands under development for nearly half that – more on those in coming weeks. I’m also not sure that the ability to get people in a room in Second Life for a group hug is necessarily a selling point ๐Ÿ˜‰ Major kudos though for an overview of both the upside and downsides of SL for business and brands.

Overall, well worth a view.

Australia? There is at least one in SL.

Australia is an island continent, so it’s not surprising that someone would have an SL island of the same name. Tucked away and un-named in an SL search result is an interesting commercial venture that is simply called “Australia“. Whilst the island is not in the shape of Australia yet, its developer, Richard Tripp, has plans to terraform to the Australian shape in the near future.

Covering a handful of the best-known destinations for visitors this build has some important variations to other SL offerings of Australian icons.

Fancy a walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge or a stroll around Uluru? Though the Harbour Bridge isn’t in the same league as the Telstra BigPond offering, there is an undoubted attempt to offer an alternative experience to visitors.

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If the Harbour Bridge is less than expected the inside of the Sydney Opera House is certainly a different proposition. This build is a marriage of SL construction and RL photography to display 360ยบ views from inside this icon of tourist destinations. It has a different aspect to that of the BigPond structure and gives visitors a closer understanding of the actual building’s impressive architectural attainments.

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The commercial nature of this venture can be seen in the Australia Harbour Centre. Opened only in the last 2 days it is a three level mall awaiting businesses to set up shop. The build skirts closely to the look of the RL Darling Harbour.

Without doubt the developers of this island are still in the construction stage. Their project’s shopping area and Australia-flavoured destinations certainly highlights the efforts people are making to fly the Aussie flag. It will be interesting to watch their progress over the coming year.

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