PlaySpan, a company co-founded by a 12-year-old, has received $6.5 million in startup funding from venture capital groups.
PlaySpan was founded by sixth-grader Arjun Mehta, who started the business with money earned from selling online items he won while attending fifth grade at San Jose's Challenger School. The company, which advertises itself as "the game industry's first publisher-sponsored in-game commerce network," plans to operate as a seller of virtual goods in various MMOGs and virtual worlds. It will employ "easy to use SDKs and APIs that integrate quickly to any game server" to enable virtual world commerce as part of the in-game experience, and says its software is built to handle high levels of user traffic with complete "End-2-End" security. While PlaySpan has not yet officially launched, it claims to have signed up seven MMOGs, representing over 10 million users, to its program.
"PlaySpan's patent-pending in-game search, commerce and micropayment technologies enable game publishers and developers to generate new revenues, acquire new users and extend the loyalty of existing users," according to a release on the company's website. "Leading game providers and virtual world publishers have selected PlaySpan as their official marketplace for virtual goods commerce."
The first round of funding for PlaySpan comes from Easton Capital, Menlo Ventures, STIC and Novel TMT Ventures. Karl Mehta, CEO and Co-Founder of PlaySpan, said, "[The investment] will help create a new class of revenue opportunities for publishers and will allow gamers to enjoy their game experience with commerce. We are extremely fortunate to have a complimentary group of global investors that bring solid experience in the gaming, internet and financial service industries."
PlaySpan launched an alpha version of its platform in September.