Vodafone buys into micropayment developer

Vodafone and the Japanese operator Softbank have been revealed as the two leading providers of US$18 million of new funding to Playspan, the US-based micropayments developer.

Playspan, which has already received US$24 million in two previous funding rounds, said it raised the new cash to fuel expansion into Europe and Asia. The company currently provides developers and publishers--like Nickelodeon and other game companies, a platform to manage micropayments, e-commerce, and micro-transactions in 180 countries.

Karl Mehta, CEO of Playspan, said that this third round of funding would be used to expand the company's products, sales and marketing on a global basis. "There's a lot of growth in our business in both domestic and international markets," Mehta said. "We believe that micro-transactions have traction in games and will spread to other kinds of applications such as video."

Commenting on the investment, Matthew Fix, principal of Vodafone Ventures, said that PlaySpan had emerged as the clear industry leader in this fast-growing space. "It has built a full stack platform that is proven with millions of consumers and thousands of merchants worldwide."

Mehta said that this round of fundraising involved existing investors, but was oversubscribed and that the amount of the funding increased as more investors wanted to become involved.

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