Empire Avenue, a new start-up formed by veterans from Bioware, Electronic Arts, and MySQL/Sun Microsystems, has secured a seed investment for its self-titled "influence stock market" social game site
This initial backing comes from a private group of angel investors headed by W Media Ventures' Boris Wertz, who will join the firm's board of directors. The company will put this financing toward accelerating development initiatives and its marketing plans for increasing its free-to-play game's awareness and userbase.
Currently in its beta phase, the online title looks to "[make] social media fun" by measuring people's and businesses' virtual share price based on their activity/reach/engagement on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. Players can trade shares, and increase their own virtual share price by staying active and influential on social sites and blogs.
The game's Avenue Rewards program, one of the development initiatives Empire Avenue intends to focus its new funding on, allows users to earn rewards from businesses relevant to their interests, while its advertising platform enables players to display ads for their favorite brands and earn revenue from them.
Empire Avenue says the social game's site has over 15,000 registered users, and has attracted businesses from more than 95 countries looking to "tap into the power and value of online influence". The site has also seen more than 750,000 virtual share trades in the past three months.
“We are incredibly excited to be working with Boris and his group, who bring valuable industry knowledge with their backgrounds and investments in social media and games," says Empire Avenue CEO Duleepa Wijayawardhana. "With this investment, we will be able to continue bringing our vision to life and Empire Avenue to the world."