SponsorPay, the European provider of advertisement-based payment systems, has raised further investment. This time the funding comes from Nokia Growth Partners, the $350m fund with close ties to Nokia itself and existing investors. It should comes as no surprise then to learn that SponsorPay intends to use the new capital to support its expansion to mobile devices, tapping the Finnish handset maker’s contacts along the way.
[Update: Our sources with knowledge of the deal say it was a €2.5m investment with another €1.5m to buy out previous investors. SponsorPay has declined to comment on that but say that the round was for $5m in a Series A2 funding “a significant increase in valuation” and was in fact a growth capital round because revenues are growing at 400% a year. Janis Zech, Co-Founder & Chief Revenue Officer, told us “The objective of this funding round is to accelerate this growth.” ]
SponsorPay’s earlier round in June of last year from Hasso Plattner Ventures, Moscow’s Kite Ventures, and Team Europe Ventures (the original backers of the Berlin-based startup) was for €3.8m funding. This was followed in October by a “seven-digit” euro investment from Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB), the development bank of the Federal Land of Berlin.
With mobile in its sights, SponsorPay is talking up its wares as “offering both publishers and advertisers a complete cross-platform solution.” It enables online gamers to earn virtual currency or unlock other ‘premium’ features by taking part in offers from its various advertising partners, such as signing up for a product trial etc. While SponsorPay’s new SDKs support “all leading smartphone platforms” and give mobile game and application developers access to distribution/monetization products including application installs, surveys, trials, lead generation and videos.
SponsorPay’s partners include leading games publishers Gameforge, Bigpoint, Gala Networks, 6waves, Perfect World, Weka Entertainment and Frogster as well as advertisers such as Procter & Gamble, AT&T, Skype, Match.com and DirecTV. Its payment method is integrated in multiple apps and social games on platforms such as Facebook, MySpace, VZnet and Netlog, while the company claims to be Europe’s number one, achieved in part through its acquisition of Hamburg-based GratisPay, enabling it to reach 120 million users across 100 countries.