MediaSpike, which runs a marketplace for in-game product placement, is announcing that it has raised $5.2 million in Series A funding.
The round was led by CMEA Capital, with the participation of existing investors 500 Startups, Google Ventures, and Raptor Capital. New backers include Andreessen Horowitz, Inspovation Ventures, and angel investors such as Jonathan Abrams, Othman Laraki, Rick Marini and Naval Ravikant.
MediaSpike’s goal is to make it easier to run product placements in mobile and social games. Developers creating listings for standardized placements in their games and advertisers bid for those placements. A couple of weeks ago, the company said its network now reaches 20 million unique users, a 20x increase in fewer than five months.
Founder and CEO Blake Commagere said that even with the additional money, MediaSpike’s “core mission” remains the same — indeed, he argued that he never doubted that there would be interest in the idea, because in-game product placement “is something that already works, let’s just remove friction.” The funding allows the company to pursue that vision more aggressively, for example by opening an office in New York City.
Given Commagere’s background as a developer of Facebook games, I also asked him about how the shift to mobile is affecting the company.
“From the beginning, we designed things with the assumption that the platforms of today may not be the platforms of tomorrow,” he replied. So not only does MediaSpike offer integration with iOS and Android games, but he said that most of the technology works on the server side, not on the device/client, so “we’re able to quickly adapt to that landscape.”
One last thing on the funding: The company says that it also has the backing of the seven members of what it calls the “Plaxo Mafia.” I haven’t heard that term before, but hey, I don’t mind that they’re trying to turn it into a thing. Commagere was apparently “an early member” of the Plaxo development team, COO John McCrea was VP of Marketing, and MediaSpike has apparently been backed by seven former Plaxo team members.