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REDWOOD CITY, Calif - IMVU, the leading avatar-based social network, today announces the acquisition of StayUp, Inc., a social VR company headed by Founder & CEO Gary Chevsky. Previous to StayUp, Gary was the President at Tango, a mobile messaging company with over 400 million users and a pioneer in mobile video-chat. The acquisition extends the capabilities of the IMVU platform in avatar design, shared experiences, and user-generated content with StayUp's technical advancement in bringing social immersion and virtual reality to real-time communication.
"StayUp accelerates our roadmap to a cross-platform implementation of an immersive avatar-based social network," says IMVU CEO Daren Tsui. "With IMVU's 4 million monthly active users and 50 thousand creators, we look forward to growing the concept of social VR in our already vibrant ecosystem."
Under the leadership of CEO Daren Tsui, IMVU is focused on spreading the power of friendship in ways better than what current social platforms deliver today. The IMVU experience, today, mentally and emotionally engages our users to experience a deeper level of social realism. On IMVU, a customizable avatar, which represents you, can express him- or herself and interact with other avatars to create a greater sense of social presence - the feeling of being with someone else as if you're physically there.
"What started as a vision of delivering the most immersive real-time communication system at StayUp became grander and more achievable the minute we met the IMVU team," says StayUp Founder Gary Chevsky. "Millions of users will have an opportunity to be together in a social network on any device to create memorable moments through shared experiences, just like real life."
The vision of IMVU as the next generation social network is to facilitate emotional connections by providing shared experiences that go beyond the traditional social media loop of posting a picture, liking, commenting, and sharing. IMVU creates an opportunity for users to do more together, to interact, create memorable moments, and develop stronger bonds. With the addition of StayUp technology and its cross platform VR experiences, IMVU aims to capture users' imaginations by making hanging out with friends more immersive and fun, thus strengthening relationships.
As part of the acquisition, the StayUp team will join IMVU with Chevsky to serve as an Advisor to the CEO, with focus on next-generation technologies.