PlayMob, the company behind GiverBoard which enables charities to fundraise through in-game micro-payments, today announces that it has secured £500,000 funding from NESTA and Midven plus a number of angel investors including newly appointed Chairman, Ian Livingstone, to expand its team and grow the marketplace.
PlayMob, which was founded in 2007, has developed the ‘GiverBoard’ technology which connects computer games with charities, so that players can fundraise for charity by purchasing virtual items within a game. These virtual objects can be directly related to a charity. For example, a tractor purchased by game players could be linked to a charity which plants crops in Zambia. Using the money received from the purchase of a virtual tractor a square metre of wheat will be planted for a family in Zambia.
Today’s investment will allow PlayMob to increase its staff from 8 to 13 people, to automate the technology to have a significantly larger reach and to develop a range of add-ons that help generate further revenue. For example, working with brands to incorporate advertising and sponsorship tailored for corporate social responsibility, while sending a positive message to a large audience.
Founder and CEO of PlayMob, Jude Ower, says: ‘We passionately believe that gaming can have huge social benefits. Our technology gives charities and brands access to hundreds of millions of players, during the 3 billion hours per week spent playing games. This investment gives us a significant boost to grow our reach globally and to remain at the forefront of developing social gaming that benefits all. There are so many games out there currently and we see our technology not only making a positive impact on charities but allowing game developers to get their game noticed in a new innovative way, allow brands to show their softer side and players to feel the ‘instant gratification’ of doing good while buying their virtual goods.’
Libby Kinsey, Investment Manager at NESTA, says: ‘PlayMob’s technology represents an exciting mix of a simple idea, unique and sophisticated technology, social benefits and commercial potential. We’re delighted to announce our investment to scale up their operations and deliver some real impact in both the gaming and charity sectors.’
Andrew Muir, investment director at Midven, said: “Playmob has a simple business model which, based on their early campaigns to date, promises to appeal to both games developers and charities to their mutual benefit. We are delighted to be working with NESTA and the Playmob team to deliver a tangible difference to what is an innovative company with ambitious plans.”
PlayMob has already helped charities raise thousands of dollars for charities by allowing them to place items to purchase within games. A ThanksGiving campaign was run in November 2011 where virtual food hats were sold, raising over $3500 to pay for Thanks Giving meals for homeless children and families in New York.
Similarly, in September, players of Parallel Kingdom were able to purchase a special edition virtual soup can hat for their character which in turn provided a meal for a homeless person via the HELP USA charity. Over $3000 was raised in just 2 weeks, feeding hundreds of people.