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MiniMonos locks in European funding round

Wellington's MiniMonos, which is close to reaching one million players, has raised €1 million (NZ$1.6m) in a round led by the former head of EMI.

Wellington's MiniMonos, which is close to reaching one million players, has raised €1 million (NZ$1.6m) in a round led by the former head of EMI.

MiniMonos chief executive Melissa Clark-Reynolds told Fairfax the ex-chief executive of EMI, Elio Leoni-Sceti, now owned 10 percent of the company.

Swiss ethical investment fund Go-Beyond also took part in the funding round. Other MiniMonos shareholders include Wellington angel investor Phil McCaw and the government's Seed Co-Investment Fund.

According to TheNextWeb, MiniMonos will use the capital to build a UK team and set up in London tech hub TechCity.

Last year, MiniMonos was the first non-European startup selected for the three-month Springboard accelerator programme in Britain, where most of its revenues and members come from.

It has TV advertising going in the UK and recently launched prepaid gift cards at British supermarket chain Sainsbury's.

Expansion into into Australia later this year is also on the cards. Poor local broadband quality meant MiniMonos is yet to really push the site here, Clark-Reynolds told Fairfax.

MiniMonos (Spanish for "little monkeys") is an eco-themed virtual world for kids, which lets members create monkey avatars and explore a virtual island. They can interact with other members, play game and receive rewards by completing real-world eco-projects.

According to Clark-Reynolds, it is seeing average month-on-month revenue growth of 30 percent – just a year after coming out of beta.

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