The Digital Village

TDV announces new investors
date: 20 Sep 1999

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy goes on-line

The Digital Village, the online media company founded by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy creator Douglas Adams, today announced it had received a new round of financing from UK Venture Capital company Arts Alliance, investment group Durlacher Corporation plc and Intel Corporation.

Founded in 1994, The Digital Village (TDV) has had worldwide success with its CD-ROM based adventure game, Starship Titanic. TDV is now launching h2g2 a global Internet community based on the best selling book by Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The funding will be used to further develop this exciting new Internet community. "We had over 1.5 million page views for h2g2 in the first month of our going live with the beta version of the site" said TDV's CEO Robbie Stamp. "An investor group of this quality substantially enhances TDV’s drive to turn h2g2 into a global community-based internet brand."

Launched in April 1999 on BBC1's Tomorrow's World, h2g2 has welcomed visitors to the site from over 85 countries. Taking inspiration from the fictional books of Douglas Adams, it is a living guide to "Life, the Universe and Everything". At its heart is a global community, working with TDV to create a guide where real and entertaining information is created for us now - and stored for future generations. Indeed, TDV intends to build h2g2 into the dominant galactic guide brand within the next thousand years.

Douglas has said: "This is a very extraordinary moment for me. Twenty-one years ago I conceived of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as a narrative device in a science fiction story. It didn't remotely occur to me that something like it might actually come into existence, or that I would play a part in making it happen. These are strange and exciting times."

As the Guide grows, members of h2g2 will benefit from a diverse range of products and services, embodying the imagination, intelligence and wit of the original Hitchhiker books. will be the e-commerce wing of h2g2, guiding members to a range of imaginative products for the Christmas Season.

TDV further plans to leverage the h2g2 brand strength to gain revenue growth by providing services for members such as broadband datacasting and the emerging generation of connected mobile devices, including web-enabled mobile phones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), which is where, of course, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy first started.

Arts Alliance, a transatlantic venture capital company, focussing exclusively on the emerging online market has a client portfolio including, Cybersites (virtual community developer) and (online short films/next generation entertainment company).
CEO, Thomas Hoegh, comments; "The playful yet profound writings of Douglas Adams resonate with the type of readers that in our opinion will be active in an online community. We are convinced that the Digital Village team will successfully facilitate the next generation's guide to the universe, this time created by virtual hitchhikers from all over the world".

Durlacher Corporation plc is a research-driven investment and securities group focused on emerging technologies and multimedia. With roots dating back to the early 1930s, it has over the past five years transformed itself from a traditional private client stockbroker into a niche investment group.
Peter Tahany, Executive Director of Corporate Finance, adds that "We are very pleased to support the future development of TDV. It represents an original and interesting vehicle to exploit proven IPR from an on-line perspective. will demonstrate the delivery of an original concept: the building of a community of like-minded free thinkers in a next generation Internet environment..."

For further information contact Sophie Astin at TDV on + 44 207 543 1723


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