PlaySpan Raises $18 Million For Virtual Goods Marketplace; Will Expand To Europe And Asia

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Virtual goods marketplace platform Playspan has raised $18 million in Series C funding led by Vodafone Ventures and Softbank Bodhi Fund, with existing investors Menlo Ventures, Novel TMT Ventures, STIC, and others participating in the round. This brings the startup’s total funding to a whopping $42 million.

PlaySpan powers virtual goods marketplaces across 1,000 video games and virtual world publishers and. PlaySpan-powered marketplaces lets users sell, exchange and purchase online game items, virtual goods, and game currencies for online games and applications. The platforms also allow publishers to managing global micropayments, ecommerce, and micro-transactions across 180 countries. And the company operates virtual goods storefronts on Facebook, MySpace, within games and on its standalone site.

As virtual goods becomes a booming business, PlaySpan has reaped the benefits of technology and media companies looking to incorporate virtual goods into their platforms. The startup has scored a number of high profile deals to power micropayments for social networks, game developers, media companies and gaming platforms. Customers include Sanrio, Adobe, Viacom/Nickelodeon, Disney and Warner Brothers.

This is an undoubtedly impressive client list, considering that the company was founded by 12-year-old, Arjun Mehta, in 2006. The company is actually run by the teenager’s father, CEO and co-founder Karl Mehta.

And PlaySpan has steadily expanded its empire, acquiring micro-transaction app developer Spare Change so that its marketplace can power transactions.

Mehta tells me that PlaySpan is adding 20 new partners per month and has signed over 100 partners in 2010 alone. The new funding will be used to expand PlaySpan into Europe and Asia, aiming to capitalize on the growth in Asian gaming markets.

PlaySpan faces competition from Live Gamer and others. And of course, Google is entering the space with the launch Google Games and the acquisitions of Slide and Jambool.

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