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Pokkt, An Alternative Payments Platform For Mobile Users In India, Raises Seed Funding

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Pokkt, an India-based platform for game developers who want to earn revenue through ways outside of virtual currency transactions, raised a seed round of funding led by Singapore’s early-stage fund Jungle Ventures.

Also participating in the round is Samir Bangara, who is a co-founder and managing director of Qyuki Digital Media and the former managing director of digital media for Disney UTV.

The startup recently graduated out of Indian accelerator GSF’s first batch of companies.

Pokkt — pronounced “pocket” — has a model that is reminiscent of TrialPay or Tapjoy. They give mobile phone users other ways of paying for goods and services instead of through virtual currency transactions.

But because they focus on the Indian market, they differ in a number of ways. For one, they have to support feature phones through WAP-based products.

The kinds of rewards they offer are also pretty different with wallpapers, videos on demand and music subscription services. Or they offer access to Wi-Fi hotspots in exchange for consuming ads, for example.

“In typical India, the virtual goods ecosystem does not exist at all,” said founder Rohit Sharma, who used to run the digital business arm of Reliance ADA Group, a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate in India with reach into the telecom and entertainment industries.

The way they charge advertisers is similar with pay-per-download or pay-per-action models. They chose to take investment from a Singaporean fund because they eventually want to expand more broadly into Southeast Asia.