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In hopes to spur innovation and invest in social gaming companiesgWallet, a virtual currency platform for social media developers, announced this morning the launch of gWallet Ventures, an early-stage fund to invest in social gaming companies in hopes to accelerate innovation within the social gaming ecosystem.
“There are a lot of social gaming companies out there that have not received the attention they deserve,” said Gurbaksh Chahal, CEO and founder of gWallet. “gWallet Ventures is an opportunity for some of these companies to receive the funding they need in order to be successful, and in the end, we think that these funding deals will instill a virtuous cycle of growth among publishers, brands, and consumers alike.”
gWallet will be investing on a case-by-case basis, anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million per company. The company told us it is in advanced discussions with several startups and we may see a funding announcement this quarter. No specific companies were disclosed.
As for the types of gaming companies gWallet is looking for, the team told us its key criteria are games that are original, viable, engaging and viral. It is open to a variety of different demographics, play styles and platforms. Overall, games that will stand out, survive, bring repeat visits per month and spread within users' social graphs.
In addition to investing in social gaming companies, gWallet said it would offer customized monetization solutions for the companies. It also plans to bring advertisers and business opportunities to its portfolio companies. gWallet said it works closely with major publishers and could facilitate potential acquisition discussions.
gWallet said its venture is also a collaboration with MySpace. MySpace plans to help the funded companies develop on the MySpace platform and gain distribution on its network.
We asked gWallet about how many investments should we expect to see in 2010? The team doesn't have any set number, but commented in an email, "we are focusing on quality, not quantity. We want to provide as much support to our portfolio companies as we can."
San Francisco-based gWallet, raised a $10.5 million Series A round of fundraising, led by Adams Street Partners and Trinity Ventures, back in December of 2009. The company has raised a total of $12.5 million to date.
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gWallet has built a next-generation ad platform that connects reputable advertising offers with consumers in social games and virtual worlds, while delivering higher conversions and revenue to publishers and developers.
Unlike the companies involved in “Scamville” recently, gWallet provides legit offers from top tier brands via its direct sales force. The company received $12.5 MM in funding from Trinity Ventures, Adams Street Partners and Stanford University.