Cash for questions: Amuso closes $1.5 million from Mangrove

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Online cash trivia gamester Amuso has closed its latest round of funding with a $1.5 million investment from Mangrove Capital Partners, the principal investor at its launch in 2007, alongside a series of angel investors. It will use the cash to expand in the UK and US. It’s also hired Ned Walley and Rabin Yaghoubi, both former Directors of Strategic Partnerships at Google. Bill Houghton, former Director of Products at AOL Entertainment, is Amuso’s new Head of Products. Amuso’s development lab is in Barcelona.

Cash trivia games are worth more than $3 billion globally, and Amuso’s speciality is launching them on social networks via flash widgets. On TriviaStar competitors can play the free version or make small cash deposits, payable via SMA or PayPal, from which partners take a transactional commission. The remainder is used to fund cash prizes for winners. Amuso says conversion rates from play for free to play for cash represent one in ten for an average $1.50 entry fee.

Amuso’s multiplayer, micropayment-based trivia game Trivia Star launched in June 2009 and has commercial partnerships with AOL, Bebo, MySpace, MTV and Associated Newspapers in Europe and Heavy and Rap Basement in the US. It now has 200,000 registered users, representing a 100% compound monthly growth rate since launch.
Amusingly, Amuso put together a demo of its service for us featuring some familiar faces.

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