Visa Buys Virtual Goods Monetization Platform PlaySpan For $190 Million In Cash
PlaySpan, a virtual goods monetization platform, has been acquired by Visa. According to the release, Visa will pay $190 million in cash for the company, plus additional consideration for performance milestones. The deal comes nearly a year after Visa spent a whopping $2 billion on e-payment company CyberSource. Visa says that the acquisition of PlaySpan complements the CyberSource deal and will extend the company’s presence in digital and mobile commerce.
This is a big exit for the company, which has raised a total of $46 million in funding since its launch four years ago. PlaySpan has been growing like a weed, striking partnerships with a number of social network, gaming and media companies, including Viacom, Disney, Facebook, Ubisoft, and Sanrio.
PlaySpan’s flagship product UltimatePay is a â€˜Monetization as a Serviceâ€™ platform for apps, games, videos and digital goods. Based on the userâ€™s location, the payments platform draws from over 85 different payment options. Because of its vast variety of payment options (which include PayPal, pre-paid cards, and a number of credit cards), UltimatePay is designed for a global audience. Currently, PlaySpan powers virtual goods marketplaces across 1,000 video games, virtual world publishers and social networks.
The company also recently launched a mobile version of UltimatePay, which gives smartphone developers a way to deliver a one-click payment experience to mobile gamers, and provide a comprehensive payments offering. The mobile focused platform allows players to view their balance and transaction history, while allowing them to purchase items in-app without ever having to leave the game.
Visa says that ecommerce sales, which reached an estimated $948 billion, are a big growth area for the company. Approximately 45 percent of U.S. online spending takes place on Visaâ€™s network today and for Visaâ€™s fiscal first quarter 2011, the company reported 25 percent year-over-year growth in ecommerce payment volumes globally. Visa is going to use PlaySpan to capitalize on the growing digital goods market, which generated an estimated $25 billion in consumer spending globally in 2010 and is expected to reach $280 billion by 20143.
The acquisition is even more impressive when you conside 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.
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