Playmob investment will help drive in-game fundraising

7 March 2012

PlayMob, the company behind technology which enables charities to fundraise through in-game micropayments, has secured £500,000 funding for expansion from a number of investors, including venture capital fund manager Midven and NESTA.

The company – which has a small expert team based at Birmingham Science Park – is to use the funding to expand its numbers and prove out the business model with a greater number of charities and games developers.

PlayMob, founded in 2007, is part of a thriving mini “games hub” on the Science Park – and Midven has invested in the technology and games sector in the past.

The company has developed a “GiverBoard” technology which connects computer games with charities, so players can fundraise for charities by purchasing virtual items within a game.

The investment, which is also supported by angel investors, will allow PlayMob to increase its staff from eight to 13, to automate the technology and have a significantly larger reach and develop a range of add-ons that help generate further revenue.

The founder and CEO of PlayMob, Jude Ower, said: “We passionately believe that gaming can have huge social benefits.  Technology gives charities and brands access to hundreds of millions of players, during the three 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, allowing brands to show their softer side and players to feel that “instant gratification” of doing good whilst buying their virtual goods.”

Dr Andrew Muir, a director of Midven and investment director of the Early Advantage Fund, through which the investment was made, said: “There’s a real specialist cluster of expertise in this sector being developed right here in the West Midlands – developing technologies which offer the user an enhanced experience. We are excited about the future for PlayMob – a simple business model, yet early indications are very encouraging, and similar models have been proven to work well in the digital industry.”

Libby Kinsey, investment manager at NESTA, said: “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.”

PlayMob has already helped charities raise thousands of dollars by allowing them to place items to purchase within games.