Santa Clara, CA– Sept 19, 2007– PlaySpan Inc., the first publisher-sponsoredTM in-game- commerceTM network, today announced that it has secured $6.5 million in Series A funding.
New York based Easton Capital led the funding round, along with Silicon Valley based Menlo Ventures, South Korea based STIC International and Hong Kong based Novel TMT Ventures.
Today’s announcement solidifies PlaySpan’s position in the online game and media sectors and enables the company to strengthen its leadership position in the rapidly growing virtual goods market. In-game commerce has surpassed the $2 billion mark this year and continues its rapid growth as more publishers adopt micro-transaction based revenue models.
“This investment is an exceptional endorsement for PlaySpan’s pioneering role in building the first publisher-sponsored in-game commerce network and technology. It will help create a new class of revenue opportunities for publishers and will allow gamers to enjoy their game experience with commerce,” said Karl Mehta, Co-Founder&CEO, PlaySpan Inc.“We are extremely fortunate to have a complimentary group of global investors that bring solid experience in the gaming, internet and financial service industries.”
“PlaySpan is clearly the pioneer in publisher-sponsored in-game commerce network with cutting-edge defensible IP. We are delighted to partner and help drive continued success of PlaySpan as a leader in this large growing market,” said John Friedman, General Partner of Easton Capital.
“In-game commerce and virtual economies are on the rise and we believe PlaySpan is leading this space with its publisher deals, breakthrough in-game technology and proven management team” said Shawn Carolan, Managing Director of Menlo Ventures based in Menlo Park, California.“We are excited about the opportunity and look forward to working with PlaySpan to maintain its market leadership.”
In addition to the funding announcement, PlaySpan also announced today three new additions to its board. John Friedman, board member of IGA worldwide and General Partner of Easton Capital; Shawn Carolan, board member of IMVU and Managing Director of Menlo Ventures; and Steven Lee, Partner at STIC International are the newest additions.
For more information about PlaySpan Inc, visit www.PlaySpan.com.
About PlaySpan Inc.
PlaySpanTM (formerly Tradeits Inc.) is the game industry’s first publisher-sponsoredTM in-game commerceTM network. PlaySpan’s patent-pending in-game search, commerce and micropayment technologies enables game publishers and developers to generate new revenues, acquire new users and extend the loyalty of existing users. Leading game providers and virtual world publishers have selected PlaySpan as their official marketplace for virtual goods commerce.
PlaySpan is based in Silicon Valley with offices in Mumbai, India and Shanghai, China. More information can be found at http://www.PlaySpan.com. Investors include Easton Capital, Menlo Ventures, STIC and Novel TMT Ventures.
About Easton Capital
Easton Capital Group (Easton) is a venture capital firm that invests in diversified growth capital and life science opportunities through its three funds, Easton Capital Partners, L.P., Easton Hunt Capital Partners, L.P. and Easton Hunt New York LP. Easton’s investment in PlaySpan Inc. builds upon Easton’s focus on leading businesses offering innovative value-added services to the video game industry. Easton is also a lead investor in IGA Worldwide, the largest in-game advertising company with a proprietary ad serving network. Other industry focuses include new media, clean technology, consumer products and life science. Easton’s partners have more than 180 years’ experience in venture capital, having managed more than $1.5 billion in assets. Easton has offices in New York and Florida. For more information, visit<http://www.eastoncapital.com/> www.eastoncapital.com.
About Menlo Ventures
Menlo Ventures has spent the past 32 years investing in entrepreneurs that Think Big. With nearly $4 billion in capital and hundreds of years of collective venture and technology management experience, Menlo brings the resources and expertise necessary to help see the most ambitious visions through to success. Investments span the entire information technology landscape with stage ranging from seed to pre-IPO. Representative investments include Cavium Networks, Acme Packet, IronPort (Cisco), 3Par Data, F5 Networks, Hotmail, MobiTV, TeleNav, PlayPhone, and IMVU. For more information, please visit www.menloventures.com.
About STIC International
With offices in Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Palo Alto, California, STIC International is the global investment arm of STIC Investments, Inc, one of South Korea’s leading venture capital and private equity financial groups. With over $750 million under management, STIC is one of the largest venture capital investors in Korea, targeting companies with the potential to dominate markets with revolutionary technology, products, or unique business models. STIC and its affiliates leverage their extensive networks in both Korea and the rest of Asia to provide capital, technological expertise, marketing and partnership opportunities to emerging growth companies. For more information, please visit www.sticinternational.com
About Novel TMT Ventures (TMT to provide)
Novel TMT Ventures Limited is the technology, media and telecom investment arm of Hong Kong based Novel Group. Novel TMT, with approximately US$70 million under management, invests in both public and private TMT companies on a direct as well as indirect basis. Its investment strategy focuses on consumer technology companies and the video gaming sector. Investments are concentrated in the United States and China.
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PlaySpan, Publisher-Sponsored and In-Game Commerce are trademarks of PlaySpan Inc. in United States and/or other countries.
Mika Kelly, Clever Communications for PlaySpan: