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'Freemium' social gaming site monetizing through the selling of virtual goods
The selling of virtual goods is proving to be a viable business model to investors.
Outspark, a social gaming company, has raised $8.3 million in Series C funding. The funding was led by Syncom Venture Partners, with participation from SBI Investment and Mille Plateaux. To date, Outspark has raised around $20 million from previous investors, including, DCM, Tencent and Altos Ventures.
San Francisco-based, Outspark, refers to itself as a ‘virtual playground.’ The company offers free, social games to its users, similar to Zynga and Playdom. Outspark selects these games from around the world and delivers them to English-speaking audiences.
Like other free social gaming sites across the Web, Outspark encourages its users to pay for virtual goods. These are basically upgrades for gaming characters – like a new hair-do, or an advanced weapon, etc. The company says its model features one of the highest monetizations per paying user – about $50 per monthly paying users.
The gaming company has also attracted some significant traffic. Since being founded in January of 2007, Outspark has grown to 5.4 million unique visitors a month. It also has a registered user base of more than 4.7 million globally.
With five games out ranging in category from virtual shooter to virtual baking, Outspark plans to promote global expansion and make some acquisitions.
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Outspark is building an online playground with free video games and engaging communities. Working with talented developers around the world, the company will offer a broad range of titles from genres including fantasy role-playing, puzzle and sports. Come for the games, stay for the community.
Outspark is also providing studio services and technical support to media companies seeking to extend the popularity of their franchises into an interactive playground. The company's executive and production teams have a deep understanding of how to merge the cinematic experience inherent in film and television with an online community destination to provide a complete entertainment experience for consumers.