Berlin-based virtual currency monetization platform SponsorPay raised $5 million in a Series A round of funding led by Hasso Plattner Ventures, with previous backer Team Europe Ventures also participating.
The company, which specializes in delivering a payment system for users to purchase virtual currencies and goods in free online games/applications, says it will devote its new financing toward accelerating its growth both in Europe and in international markets.
Established in April 2009, SponsorPay has grown rapidly in its 14 months of operation, now serving local advertising offers to more than 150 million users across 100 countries. Just last February, it acquired its primary competitor GratisPay, also based in Germany.
The firm has also picked up more than 150 partners, such as Gameforge, Bigpoint, Gala Networks, AeriaGames, Innogames, Frogster, and many other major European publishers that monetize their free-to-play titles through microtransactions.
SponsorPay has recently signed contracts with international online gaming companies like China's 6waves and Perfect World, too, and says it expects to work with a minimum of 50 percent of the largest U.S.-based publishers by the end of 2010.
"We have four times the publishers, three times the staff and double the offers for most European markets than our closest competitors," says SponsorPay co-founder and chief revenue officer Janis Zech.
Zech adds, "Most importantly, we consistently generate up to five times more revenue from European traffic when compared with our US-based competitors. Now, it is time to use this clear value proposition to monetize publishers who are not based in Europe but have traffic here."