July 19, 2007 08:01 ET

Online Games Innovator Ujogo Closes Series A Round

The Company Also Acquires a Gaming Software Company and Launches Its Public Beta

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - July 19, 2007) - Ujogo (, a new provider of rewards-based poker and other free online games, announced today it has closed a Series A financing round backed by angel investors, including prominent venture and public equity investors. Separately, the Company reported it has acquired Gaming Everywhere, a developer of multi-player games software for web browsers and mobile devices. Terms of the financing and acquisition were not disclosed. Today, Ujogo also launched the public beta of its online poker site for players of all levels (

"Ujogo's new funding, strategic acquisition and public beta will help us accelerate the refinement of our technology platform and leverage an existing user base of several thousand players with a passion for online games and competition," said Eric Gonzales, president, CEO and co-founder of Ujogo. "By delivering more spirited and enjoyable versions of free online games, we are confident that Ujogo's legal, no-risk platform will become a leading destination for the more than 30 million U.S. adults who dedicate more than 5 billion hours to free online poker annually."

Gonzales said his company's rewards-based platform is designed to resurrect the spirit of competition among both casual and competitive online players. Online poker continues to enjoy tremendous popularity, but the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 has resulted in several prominent poker sites withdrawing from the U.S. marketplace.

"The quality of play and competitiveness at virtually all other free online poker sites is not very good, since for the most part players have nothing at stake. We believe Ujogo's model will significantly improve the player experience without financial risk, and the demographics of our players should appeal to a wide range of advertisers," he said.

Co-founded in 2006 by Gonzales, Steven Sheinfield and Doug Sheppard, Ujogo has assembled a unique management team whose backgrounds include competitive gaming, venture capital and operational experience.

--  Gonzales was previously a general partner at DCM, a leading Silicon
    Valley-based venture capital firm focused on early stage companies. Prior
    to DCM he held key management roles at Cisco Systems, where he was an early
    VoIP evangelist and launched some of the company's most successful
    networking products. Gonzales earned a B.A. in economics from Harvard and
    an M.B.A. from Stanford University. He learned poker as a child, and is a
    competitive backgammon player and former chess master.
--  Steven Sheinfield, chief operating officer of Ujogo, has more than 10
    years of marketing and product management experience. Before co-founding
    Ujogo, Sheinfield worked with Gonzales at Cisco Systems, focusing on VoIP
    technologies. He earned a B.A. in economics from the George Washington
    University, and an M.B.A. in marketing and international business from New
    York University. Sheinfield is also an avid poker player.
--  Douglas Sheppard, Ujogo's chief information officer, has more than 20
    years of experience in the software and networking industries. He has
    headed up network and software development teams at Nasa Ames and Pacific
    Bell Internet, and for various start-ups. Sheppard holds a B.S.-E.E. degree
    from the George Washington University. He recently captured first place in
    the prestigious 2006 Double Shootout at a poker room near San Francisco.
--  Marc Alringer, chief technology officer of Ujogo, has extensive
    experience in developing highly secure and scalable internet applications.
    Alringer was founder and CEO of Gaming Everywhere, which was acquired by
    Ujogo. Prior to Gaming Everywhere, he held executive-leadership roles for
    Abovehealth, a healthcare information technology company, and Spectral
    Logic Inc., a wireless test software company. Alringer earned a B.S. in
    biomedical and electrical engineering from the University of Southern
    California, and an M.B.A. from the University of California, San Diego.
--  Roger Phillips, vice president of development, brings more than 25
    years of experience in software design and development, and has held senior-
    level management positions in several startup and established technology
    companies. Phillips joined Ujogo after holding the same role at Gaming
    Everywhere, where he oversaw development of the company's poker site from
    inception to beta. He earned a B.A. in computer science from the University
    of California, San Diego.
--  Don Cerullo, vice president of sales and marketing, brings more than
    seven years of internet sales and marketing experience to Ujogo. An
    entrepreneur, Cerullo also owns an online media company that specializes in
    search engine marketing and website development. Prior to Ujogo, he was
    vice president of network development for LSF Network, an online media
    agency that operates game-related websites, including, a free
    online lottery destination that was ranked the 17th most visited website by
    Media Metrix in 2003. Cerullo holds a B.A. in economics from the University
    Of New Hampshire.

About Ujogo

Ujogo (derived from Portuguese for "game") provides free, highly competitive and rewards-based online games for millions of U.S. enthusiasts. The company's first game, online poker, is now in public beta. Founded in 2006, Ujogo is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, please visit

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