The About Linden Lab page has been updated this week unveiling three new board directors. These include Brad Oberwager, J. Randall (Randy) Waterfield and Raj Date.
The lab have said that everything is carrying on as business as usual. There is no cause for alarm yet.
SecondLife is now listed as part of the Waterfield Network which is worth mentioning I think. Check out the biography for each of the new board directors at Linden Lab below…
Brad Oberwager has spent his entire career in technology and consumer focused companies as an entrepreneur and board member.
Currently, he sits on the board of two public companies, Asure Software (NASDAQ: ASUR) and Better World (NASDAQ: BWACU). He is the chairman of two companies he founded, Jyve and Sundia and is also on the board of TEGSCO (aka AutoReturn). He owned Bare Snacks, acquired by PepsiCo in 2018.
Brad was Vice-chair of YPO International, a global organization of 25,000 CEOs.
Brad received his BS from Georgetown University, his MBA from the Wharton School and lives in San Francisco.
J. RANDALL (RANDY) WATERFIELD
Mr. J. Randall (Randy) Waterfield, is the Chairman of Waterfield Holdings, which traces its origins to 1928. After selling the largest private mortgage company in the US and largest Indiana based bank in 2006 and 2007 respectively, he diversified into technology, manufacturing and other industries.
Randy holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a graduate of Harvard University. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Red Oak Partners, Waterfield Technologies, Linden Research, Inc. and has previously served on the boards of YPO (and was the 2017-2018 Chairman of YPO), Asure Software ( NASDAQ: ASUR), SMTC Corporation (NASDAQ: SMTX), RF Industries (NASDAQ: RFIL), among others. He is also the Co-Chairman of Missouri Cobalt, LLC, the largest cobalt mine in North America.
Randy supports various education, environmental and community development charitable causes through the nonprofit Waterfield Foundation and J. Randall Waterfield Foundation.
Raj Date was the first-ever Deputy Director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). As the Bureau’s second-ranking official, he helped steward the CFPB’s strategy, its operations, and its policy agenda. He also served on the senior staff committee of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, and as a statutory deputy to the FDIC Board.
Before being appointed Deputy Director, Raj acted as the interim leader of the new agency, serving as the Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury. He led the CFPB for most of the first six months after its launch.
Currently, Raj is the Managing Partner of Fenway Summer, an advisory and investment firm focused on financial services and financial technology. In that capacity, he chairs the investment committee of Fenway Summer Ventures, a fintech venture capital fund, and works with clients of FS Vector, the fintech advisory firm. He also serves as a Director for a number of innovative firms in financial services: Prosper, the marketplace lender; Green Dot, the bank holding company; Circle, the digital asset firm; Grasshopper, a de novo bank; and College Ave, a private student lender.
He is a graduate of the College of Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley (highest honors) and the Harvard Law School (magna cum laude).
What are your views on the latest announcement and the change on the Linden Lab about page ?
On Tuesday 5th January Linden Lab officially announced that the regulatory review has been completed. This means that Linden Lab is now is under new ownership. Things are “business as usual” apparently and I think many will be wondering what will happen next. Hopefully there will be more news throughout 2021 into 2022.
It’s good the lab have finally updated everyone after months of waiting for any news about the acquisition.
Here is the confirmation via the blog post about the review completion.
Another noteworthy development for the new year is that Linden Lab has new owners!
As announced in mid-2020, an investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager signed an agreement to acquire the company subject to regulatory approval by financial regulators in the U.S. related to Tilia Inc.’s status as a licensed money transmitter as well as other customary closing conditions. We are pleased to share that the regulatory review has been completed and Linden Lab is now under new ownership.
While the owners may be new, things are “business as usual” in Second Life. Last year saw strong growth for our virtual world and, as a result of this acquisition we expect even more resources in 2021 to further improve and grow Second Life in the future.
Linden Lab mentioned in the blog post that the migration of Second Life to the cloud is now complete. Apparently “All the interconnected services and databases that collectively provide you with Second Life have been migrated to Amazon’s cloud servers”.
The uplift will bring better simulator performance and improve the ability to diagnose problems. The lab will be able to scale their system for more improvements and future growth.
The lab showed a photo in the blog post which is the former cage at the lab facility which has hosted servers since 2009. It’s been cleaned out and is completely empty. Most of the old hardware has been scrapped. All of the drives have been destroyed.
Hopefully things will get better during 2021 with better performance and improvements. Let’s hope the Uplift was worth it.
On Tuesday 19th July I asked Ebbe Altberg CEO of Linden Lab on Twitter on when we will hear more from Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager on the Linden Lab acquisition. I asked if there is a town hall event or a lab gab event planned.
Ebbe Altberg kindly responded back on Tuesday evening saying this “Hold on everybody. The deal first has to close. Will take some time due to regulatory process. Sit back. Wait. Relax. All is well“.
As it stands the deal isn’t done yet and it will take some time due to the regulatory process. This could mean it could be some months until we next hear anything more official. I’m probably thinking before the end of the summer.
On July 9, 2020, Linden Lab announced “[…][that] it signed an agreement to be acquired by an investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager. Closing of the acquisition issubject to regulatory approval by financial regulators in the U.S. related to Tilia Inc.’s status as a licensed money transmitter as well as other customary closing conditions. Upon closing, Mr. Waterfield and Mr. Oberwager will join the Board of Directors of Linden Research, Inc.“
Once the process is complete then I think Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager should come inworld and chat live to the Second Life community. Either by the lab hosting a special town hall meeting or through the successful popular lab gab series. Maybe a special blog announcement would work too.
Don’t forget this is an opportunity to continue growth and expansion for Second Life along with the money services business Tilia. I hope this is the case for positive change and not something in 3 – 5 years which will be a disaster for everyone. As usual time will be the judge. Whatever happens I will be blogging about it.
If this acquisition fails or if Second Life did have to shut down later down the road then you can expect a massive move towards OpenSim grids. I don’t think anyone wants this to happen. Second Life is best virtual world out there today.
It will be nice to hear something more official sooner than later. In the mean time everyone needs to relax and wait. Enjoy the summer.