Chesspark : Chess+social networking gets angel investment

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Chess is not like life… it has rules!

Chess players might be a logical bunch, but they are not a loyal bunch. There are many sites to play chess online - Infinaina Chess, Chess Rally, ChessBase, chess corner, and several others and it is not uncommon to encounter the same people at different sites. One of the reasons for the proliferation of these sites has been that the chess playing experience offered by most of them has not been as robust and satisfying as one would like.

Chesspark.com site has been in beta testing for more than a year now and has been able to create a strong base of players who have found the platform to be attractive. One can play the game online or through a client, which looks very much like a widget. They currently have about 100,000 users signed up.

The rule of the thumb is that the 1 to 2% of the current users will convert to a paying, subscription based service. It is possible that the conversion rate is much higher in the chess player community, but even if it goes up to 3-4%, and the rate of user base expansion continue at the same level, that gives us about 300k users in about a year, and ball park revenue (on the higher side) to be 600k-1M/year.

ChessPark is chess playing and social networking, together. It was created by Open Source software veterans using the Jabber Instant Messaging platform as a framework.

Chesspark wants to add some cool features to the site and just completed an investment round with angel investor Jon Callaghan of True Ventures, Burnt Norton, Inc. and Eaglebrook School. This round brings the total amount raised to $1 million which Chesspark.com will use to fund the completion of its public beta test in anticipation of their full-featured product launch in Q3 of this year.

But as they say: “Good positions don’t win games, good moves do.” - Gerald Abrahams.

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