Ripl Receives $4.25 Million

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[ Social Media]

More pressing, I think, than the question of how much wood a woodchuck can chuck is the matter of how many social networks the World Wide Web can withstand.  It seems we’re rapidly approaching the point at which there’ll be one per person.  And with a fresh $4.25 million in its pocket, Ripl may soon be ready to contribute to the crowding.

“We’ve been running lean for a long time, and with the proceeds we’re putting the company on a growth footing with the kind of talent that can deliver on a super-scalable proposition with room to run for years,” Ripl’s founder and CEO, Bill Messing, told John Cook.  “This was a short round by design, and we’ll be going back out this fall for the balance of the raise.”

That “balance of the raise” phrase implies that the social network is preparing for the end of some sort of era.  Still, even if it launches – at the moment, Ripl is only open to students at the University of Washington and the University of Central Florida – it’ll have to confront the other six and a half billion social networks.  And Facebook.

Yep, Facebook.  MySpace may still be larger, but Facebook’s where the most growth is taking place, and it’s in that direction that Ripl has aimed itself.  Messing isn’t without a plan, however, and he explained his company’s strengths to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Cook.

“We’ve found an application for the RIPL software engine that we think is going to be solid gold,” Messing stated.  Also, “We seem to have struck a chord by demonstrating how the system can be used as a kind of ‘amplifier’ in the promotion and distribution of all kinds of recorded media – music, TV shows, movies.”

So, despite the college-kids theme, Ripl isn’t a Facebook clone.  Still, among so many competitors, it remains to be seen if Ripl can get noticed.

Ripl Receives $4.25 Million
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