Friday, July 17, 2009

Gaia Hires Zong for Mobile Payments

Teen virtual world Gaia Online and mobile payment service provider Zong today announced a deal that introduces the option for Gaia users to purchase the site's virtual currency, Gaia Gold, with their mobile phone number. The agreement will make it significantly easier for the eight million people who visit Gaia monthly to buy virtual currency, and then digital goods, on the site. "We’re confident that Gaia Online's teen-based membership community will find Zong to be even easier than a traditional credit or debit card-based payment, and this partnership underscores the tremendous economic potential of the high-growth virtual goods industry," David Marcus, founder and CEO of Zong said in statement.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Playspan Launches Virtual Goods Store on MySpace & FaceBook

Well done! "Micro-payments across the gaming world is gaining serious traction, especially on social networks. PlaySpan, which powers micro-payments across over 1,000 video games and virtual worlds, is launching marketplace storefronts for Facebook and MySpace (which will be rolled out soon). The marketplace will which let users purchase online game items, virtual goods, and game currencies for online games and applications directly from their social networks.

What makes the marketplace interesting is that you can buy, trade, and sell goods within the marketplaces on Facebook and MySpace and then use the items in online game environments. And making a transaction on the marketplace becomes a whole lot more social, as your friends may be able to see it on your NewsFeed. PlaySpan, which recently acquired micro-transaction app developer Spare Change, has processed more than $50 million worth of micro-transactions through its PayByCash and Ultimate Game Card products. PlaySpan also raised $16.8 million in a series B funding last Fall from Easton Capital Group, Menlo Ventures, Novel TMT Ventures, and STIC. The startup was founded by a 12-year-old, Arjun Mehta, but it is actually run by his father, CEO and co-founder Karl Mehta.

The recent acquisition of Spare Change now makes sense. While PlaySpan’s focus so far has been within games and virtual worlds, it made a recent deal to power micropayments on hi5. Spare Change, on the other hand, powered micropayments across 700 social networking apps on Facebook, MySpace, and Bebo, and at the time of its acquisition was on its way to processing $30 million worth of transactions this year.

It seems like these days everyone is getting into micropayments, and the number of players are scaling quickly. With continued expansion on social networks, startup PlaySpan can become a serious player in a space where bigger players like PayPal, Facebook and MySpace are all considering making a move. The competition may be stiff but as micropayments start to integrate with consumers’ social graphs, but there seems to be the potential for more than enough opportunity for both startups like PlaySpan and Zuora, and the more established players.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Facebook's Payment Guy

is ... Gareth Davies, who says stuff like ""We get a lot of requests to provide a platform-based monetization model. We want to help developers succeed as best as we can and also help users have a great experience. We have a gift shop on that enables our users to buy gifts using a virtual currency called Facebook Credits. And that's done very, very well for us. We're thrilled with that business, and it's growing... People love to buy [virtual] gifts and give them to their friends. It's a very fun, engaging activity. And so, having seen the success there and hearing the requests from developers that this would be of interest to them, we have begun testing the user Facebook Credits by offering them to developers, so that users can use Facebook Credits in an application to buy things. We're very early on in the test there, and so far, the results look good. We have a handful of apps live today." He has without a doubt the payment industry's biggest window of opportunity with the Facebook user base and developer network to do truly game changing and innovative thing sin the world of payment. But so far you ca only buy Facebook credits with Credit Card. Will be interest to see whether he and his Facebook Payments Team come up with beyond the same old same old. Stay tuned...

A: Why is the Linden $ the most succesful virtual currency?

A: Because Linden and its exchange network (partnered and 3rd party) provide a mechanism for people to convert their electronic funds back into real dollars. So after selling virtual goods in Second Life you are able to turn that into actual value in your real life.

Q: What is the most succssful vrtual currency?

A: The Linden $.

VC's & Mobile Payments - Round 11

All about the current VC lust for mobile payment miracle providers .... NOKIA put 35 mill usd into OBOPAY last March

RIXTY Now In 10,000 Retails Spots

Well done Rixty!; "Paying for online entertainment without a credit card just got easier, thanks to Rixty. The innovative e-commerce company launched today its new cash-based payment system at more than 10,000 retail locations. Now anyone with cash and coins can convert that money into online purchasing power across an exciting array of entertainment merchants."

Good Vid on Gold Farming, Partnering For Virtual Kids Universe

This is quite cool and smart. Kinda like Disney Interactive Group and its portfolio of virtual worlds, is partnering with virtual world publishers to launch a network of kiddie virual worlds under its brand. So far the virtual worlds, Faithful Friends (see FF TV hosts - quite hot MILF's...), Primary Games, Elf Island and robotics maker WowWee Groups Virtual Animal Care Center. Four additional virtual worlds will be added to the Idea Seeker Universe in the next month according to Jori Clark., which launched in 1995 and is the internet’s longest-running online family oriented community, is partnering with other virtual worlds, gaming sites, content providers and consumer products companies and real world destinations to create one safe and fun Virtual Universe.

“Since we have earned the trust of parents due to our history of supporting COPPA and CARU guidelines and because we have consistently delivered on our promise of being the place where their kids could Play Smart, Stay Safe, Have Fun™, we realized the time had come to create a network of partners that follow those same standards," describes Jori Clarke, founder of, now the Virtual Universe for kids and tweens. "With the ever expanding list of virtual worlds available for kids to play online, we know that many parents don’t have the time to review all of the options. They can be comfortable in the knowledge that every addition to our world will adhere to our mission statement.” has been seeking out partners with content that offers families wholesome fun for their kids, as well as an opportunity to do good in the real world or to bring families together in play. Each partner contributes a unique and fun play experience: Television and virtual world integration; toy and virtual world play support; online and offline “do good experiences”; novel approaches to game play. The following worlds and play options are now available in the Virtual Universe at

The Faithful Friends TV show, presented by Drs. Foster and Smith Pet Supplies on Animal Planet, provides to pet owners veterinarian advice and tips on subjects including health, nutrition, behavior, travel, new and aged pets, horses, fish & coral and birds. In the virtual world, kids have had the opportunity to watch TV clips and meet up with show co-host Electra Mustaine or leave messages for her on her avatar Idea Seeker home page. Faithful Friends is a copyrighted trademark property of Heads & Tails, Inc. and is created by Tony Loiacono.

Primary Games, created by teacher Susan Beasley, is a gaming site that offers kids, educators and parents access to learning games and activity pages that can be used in home and school settings.

Elf Island is a site that promotes good deeds with “Good Quests” that promote learning and giving back to others. While offering the fun virtual experience kids want, Elf Island is uniquely dedicated to instilling redeeming values and social responsibility, with a “mirrored gaming” concept that transforms online games into real world actions, including building houses in Honduras, protecting polar bears in the Arctic, sharks in the Galapagos Islands and more.

WowWee Group Limited has established a virtual Animal Care Center for their award-winning brand of WowWee Alive™ plush animal babies. The huggable and life-like plush animals, which come “alive” in response to loving attention, can be fed and heard as kids play with them online. Two Online games – animal matching and trivia - provide kids with additional opportunities to interact with the WowWee Alive baby animals.

Four additional virtual worlds will be added to the Idea Seeker Universe in the next month.

For more information, please visit the Company's web site at

Media Contact
Jori Clarke
Circle 1 Network
414.271.5437 (office)
414.305.7742 (cell)