Linden Lab acquisition deal “will take some time due to regulatory process.”


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.[23][24][25]

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.

Ebbe Altberg And Brett Linden Responds To Company’s Acquisition


Since the announcement last week about Linden Research, Inc being acquired by the investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager there has been some responses from Linden Lab. On the Second Life Forums there has been mixed responses about it. Ebbe Altberg has been responding on Twitter over the weekend and Brett Linden responding back on the Second Life Forums. 

Most Second Life residents are still worried and concerned about the future of Second Life. It’s clear from the lab responses that the specific details about the deal won’t be announced just yet. There is talk now of one or both of the investors being featured on a future Lab Gab episode or a townhall meeting. I think this is a good idea and I hope the lab will host it before the end of the year. 

I think the main message from Linden Lab right now is that these two investors have a great deal of awareness of what Second Life is and they are excited to help Second Life/Tilia grow. I don’t think there will be any major changes in terms of the end user before the end of 2020 and it will probably continue as normal. 

To be honest time will tell. Let’s wait and see what happens next. 

Ebbe Altberg Responses 

To early to speculate. But Tilia is signing up and onboarding more and more customers. Its a unique and very relevant service.

No plan for drainage here. Great to remain independent. Everybody motivated to build and grow.

We’re remaining independent. Not getting mangled into some Borg

Uh, that’s not what any motivated operator of a profitable business world do. That would be like throwing away money for no reason. We’re excited.

 

Nobody has any interest in hampering SL. We all want it to grow and continue to be the wonderful world it is. We’re very happy with this path. Can’t say much until deal is closed.

 

That would be a horrible way to run a business. We’re not partnering with idiots here.

Brett Linden Responses

Good day, all!

Just jumping in to respond to a few of the comments…

A few folks are speculating that this is the end of SL and nothing could be further from the truth. Any talk of dismantling or radically changing the fundamentals of SL that we know and love is inaccurate. While we can’t get into specific details about the deal itself, I want to emphasize the fact that this keeps Linden Lab as an independent venture led by two investors who have a great deal of awareness about what SL is and isn’t. They are excited to join and help us grow both SL and Tilia while also respecting and recognizing the needs and sensitivities of the existing culture and community. 

Great question! We look forward to sharing more information as soon as possible, and I know that Brad is looking forward to meeting the community as we near the completion / approval deadline

This is a great idea. I can’t make commitments on dates because there is still a long process of reviewing the regulations, but we will discuss internally as this seems to be a” no brainer “and I think that most of the community is interested in what they have to say. I could imagine that we will attract one or both investors to “Lab Gab” or some other form of town hall meeting. 

Grumpity Linden Response

In all seriousness — this really really is a good thing. We’re excited for the opportunities it presents and we’re rock solid sure of the bright future of SL. And with that… NFC

We’re really not able to comment very much in terms of details for now, but we are quite earnest in the Press Release

I will post more when new information becomes available. 

Linden Research, Inc. to Be Acquired


Linden Research, Inc announced today it signed an agreement to be acquired by an investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager. Apparently Mr. Waterfield and Mr. Oberwager will join the Board of Directors of Linden Research, Inc very soon.

“The acquisition is 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”.

The lab will continue to operate normally on a day to day basis including all Second Life operations. I don’t think there will be any immediate visible changes at the moment. I would imagine now there could be more speculation, concerns or even fears as to the future of Second Life.

This will be a new chapter, an new opportunity and another expansion for Second Life along with Tilia. Check out this statement made by Ebbe Altberg CEO of Linden Lab.

We’re excited for this new chapter to begin. We see this as an opportunity to continue growth and expansion for Second Life and our money services business Tilia. We’re grateful for the ongoing support from our community, business partners and investors. Now more than ever, there is increased recognition of the value and utility of virtual worlds to bring people together for safe, shared, and social on-line experiences.

Who are they ?

Mr. Oberwager has spent his entire career in technology and consumer-focused companies. Mr. Oberwager is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Jyve, a Silicon Valley based technology company. Prior to Jyve, Mr. Oberwager owned Bare Snacks, acquired by PepsiCo. Mr. Oberwager is an advisor to several technology start-ups and sits on the boards of several technology and CPG companies.

Mr. Waterfield is the Chairman and CEO of the Waterfield Group. The Waterfield Group has invested in over 100 technology, financial, insurance, bank and other companies.

Linden Lab have released this press release below…

LINDEN RESEARCH, INC. TO BE ACQUIRED

2020-07-09 00:00:00 UTC

New Growth & Expansion Opportunities on the Horizon for Second Life and Tilia

SAN FRANCISCO, July 9, 2020 — Linden Research, Inc. announced today it signed an agreement to be acquired by an investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager. Closing of the acquisition is 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. Upon closing, Mr. Waterfield and Mr. Oberwager will join the Board of Directors of Linden Research, Inc.

“We’re excited for this new chapter to begin. We see this as an opportunity to continue growth and expansion for Second Life and our money services business Tilia,” says Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg. “We’re grateful for the ongoing support from our community, business partners and investors. Now more than ever, there is increased recognition of the value and utility of virtual worlds to bring people together for safe, shared, and social online experiences.”

“Both the company and its virtual world community have a unique culture and creative energy that remain important to the long-term success of Second Life,” says Brad Oberwager. “There’s a bright future for both Second Life and Tilia and we’re excited to help fuel these growth opportunities.”

“Since its inception 17 years ago, Second Life has been a pioneer in the concepts of virtual societies, land and economies,” says Second Life founder Philip Rosedale, who is now CEO of High Fidelity. “I’ve known Brad for 14 years personally and professionally, and I’m confident he will bring his passion and proven strategies to help Linden Lab achieve new heights in distribution, scale, and quality while remaining true to the original vision, creativity, and community that makes Second Life unique and special.”

Mr. Oberwager has spent his entire career in technology and consumer-focused companies. Mr. Oberwager is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Jyve, a Silicon Valley based technology company. Prior to Jyve, Mr. Oberwager owned Bare Snacks, acquired by PepsiCo. Mr. Oberwager is an advisor to several technology start-ups and sits on the boards of several technology and CPG companies.

Mr. Waterfield is the Chairman and CEO of the Waterfield Group. The Waterfield Group has invested in over 100 technology, financial, insurance, bank and other companies.

ABOUT LINDEN RESEARCH, INC.

Linden Research, Inc. dba Linden Lab develops platforms that empower people to create, share, and benefit from virtual experiences. Founded in 1999, the company first launched Second Life, the groundbreaking virtual world enjoyed by millions around the globe, in 2003, which has since gone on to boast nearly two billion user creations and a vibrant $500 million (USD) economy. For more about Linden Lab, its products, and career opportunities, visit its website.

For more information, contact presscontact@lindenlab.com

The SL17B Water regions explanation


On 24th June Patch Linden on the Second Life forums posted the reasons for why there are ten SL17B Water regions surrounding the core SL17B regions. Apparently the main reason for them is that it’s “purely for decor and aesthetic purposes“. The lab felt “the entire SLB continent looked better not having things fall off into a void“.

He goes on to say “so we gave everything natural shorelines and such which meant extending in to the surrounding water regions this year. They serve no other purpose and are not usable for anything else because they are running on openspaces“.

I have to say this is pretty disappointing to hear this as this is a big opportunity missed for like a SL17B sailing event or perhaps spreading the new theme of Linden homes around the core regions. I’m sure the water regions could of been used better somehow. It’s interesting that these water regions are running on openspaces though.

Here is the full explanation from Patch…

They are there purely for decor and aesthetic purposes.  When we built out the core regions, we used as much space as possible and in many areas right up to the region edges.  We felt the entire SLB continent looks better not having things fall off into a void.  So we gave everything natural shorelines and such which meant extending in to the surrounding water regions this year.  They serve no other purpose and are not usable for anything else because they are running on openspaces.

Hopefully next year for SL18B there will be more regions to explore and more demo regions. 

SL17B Water regions can be seen around the outside of the core regions