Earlybird invests in children's community Smoodoos.com

Technology investor supports international growth path

Hamburg, Munich, (PresseBox) - 19th June 2008. Earlybird today announced an investment in just us & friends GmbH located in Munich and Kirchheim unter Teck, operator of www.smoodoos.com. This makes Earlybird the first institutional investor following seed financing provided by Business Angels Tino Schöninger and Yulian Patzelt and founders Saskia and Justus Schneider. The social network is to become the first secure community exclusively for children. Smoodoos soft toys are available in toyshops and offer premium access to the internet community up to the age of 16 which come with with the help of a secret access code. Through its investment, Earlybird aims to secure the network's growth on an international level.

Current research by the University of Cologne has revealed that 38 percent of all youngsters are unintentionally confronted with unwanted content when chatting on the internet. Smoodoos will be the first community to offer children secure chatting and playing. Thanks to a new, comprehensive security system, adults are not allowed permanent access to the community or private contact with children. Furthermore, the modern designs of the cute soft toys and the website set them apart from the usual children's offers because children and their artistic standards are taken seriously.

Dr. Christian Nagel, Partner with Earlybird, will support the web company in an advisory function."From our perspective, our role is not limited to an investor; we also want to be a sounding board for the set-up of the company and the planned internationalization of www.smoodoos.com."Justus Schneider, Smoodoos founder and former Head of Global Marketing at Mercedes-Benz, is satisfied: "With their exceptional track record and global expertise, Earlybird is just the right partner for us."

The strong management team, the innovative concept and its solid implementation convinced not only toy stores and Earlybird, but also the editors of German family magazine "Familie&Co".

On 9th June, they nominated Smoodoos for the "Goldenes Schaukelpferd - Spielzeug des Jahres" (toy of the year) award. With a broad publicity campaign including TV spots, Smoodoos will now raise their profile among parents and children.

About just us & friends (www.smoodoos.com)

just us & friends GmbH & Co KG, located in Munich and Kirchheim unter Teck, was established in 2006 by Saskia und Justus Schneider, who were inspired by the online activities of their three children. Before founding Smoodoos, Justus Schneider was Head of Global Marketing at Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars.

The team of founders and shareholders also includes Smoodoos designer Janina Fey and website designer Eric Singhartinger. Information for parents and press: www.smoodoos.info

Earlybird Venture Capital Gmbh & Co KG

Earlybird Venture Capital wurde 1997 gegründet und ist einer der erfolgreichsten europäischen Venture-Investoren. Aktuell managt Earlybird über 400 Millionen Euro. Earlybird investiert in innovative, schnell wachsende Unternehmen mit herausragenden Management-Teams und großem Wachstumspotential auf dem internationalen Markt. Dabei liegt der Investitionsschwerpunkt von Earlybird auf innovativen Unternehmen aus den Branchen Software, Halbleitertechnologie, Kommunikationstechnologie, Internet-basierte Dienstleistungen, Cleantech (umweltfreundliche Technologien) und Medtech. Earlybirds Portfolio besteht zurzeit aus mehr als 21 Unternehmen in sieben Ländern (Deutschland, Schweiz, Schweden, UK, USA, Italien und Frankreich). Seit der Gründung hat Earlybird in mehr als 55 Unternehmen investiert.

Earlybird unterstützt und beschleunigt unternehmerischen Erfolg. Als einer der führenden Frühphasen-VC-Investoren in Europa bietet Earlybird Gründern ausgeprägte Erfahrung im Aufbau junger Unternehmen und unterstützt Unternehmen von der Wiege bis zur Profitabilität: Earlybird bietet nicht nur in der Start-up-Phase Kapital, sondern hilft Gründern auch in der späteren Wachstumsphase bei der Finanzierung.

Innerhalb von zwei Jahren brachte Earlybird sechs Technologieunternehmen aus dem Portfolio an vier unterschiedliche europäische Börsen: Interhyp, Tipp24 und Wilex, Esmertec, Entelos und NoemaLife. Interhyp allein erzielte das Fünfzigfache des ursprünglichen Earlybird-Investments. Earlybird verkaufte darüber hinaus erfolgreich seine Beteiligung an element 5 an Digital River, sein Investment in Identify an BMC Software, Alantos an Amgen, abaXX an Cordys, amaxa an Lonza und dooyoo an LeGuide.

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