SponsorPay Buys European Offers Rival GratisPay

Competition among Europe-based advertising offers companies has been getting more intense, and now consolidation is happening. SponsorPay, a German company that came out of stealth mode in August, has acquired German rival GratisPay. Part of the goal is to consolidate big European game publisher clients; while SponsorPay has been  working with GameForge, Cafe.com, and Frogster, GratisPay had others, like Bigpoint. Combined, they have 8 of the 10 largest regional publishers that have integrated offers, SponsorPay’s Jan Becker tells us, and more than 100 publishers in total.

Both companies run performance ads from online ad networks as well as direct ads from advertisers. Users can take these offers, whether from an online service provider, retail store, or whatever else, and earn virtual currency that they can then spend to buy virtual goods in games.

Their main competition on the performance ads front comes from two Israeli companies, TokenAds and SupersonicAds. Deal United, another German company, has been focusing on direct ad sales, and also works with publishers in online software, dating, and other types of sites beyond games. Most of these companies have only launched publicly within the last year or so.

The other rivals, of course, are the big US offers companies, including Offerpal and Adknowledge’s Super Rewards. European offers companies have focused on providing ads from regional advertisers to European users, but now they’re trying to sell their European inventory to the big online game developers from the US and other parts of the world — specifically social game developers who reach the 100 million-some Facebook users in Europe.

Meanwhile, the US offer companies have been using their relationships with US game publishers to try to reach Europe; Super Rewards has an office in London to try to reach local clients, for example.

The difference, as Becker and other people at European offers companies are quick to point out, is that SponsorPay, GratisPay and the other companies have focused on the biggest European countries, and localizing their products and advertising clients to each one. Each of these companies claims to be able to pay out higher rates to developers with European users as a result; in SponsorPay’s case, Becker says it has five times the number of European offers versus US rivals, and can help developers make 3 to 4 times the revenue. Like its rivals, the company is also using its multi-market background to expand into more markets, with SponsorPay already being localized for 30, including Latin American markets like Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

We expect the US monetization companies — and everyone else — to move more strongly into Europe this coming year. Given the increasing competition, the consolidation makes especially good sense.

A final note on the investors: SponsorPay is backed with an undisclosed amount from Team Europe Ventures, and Beckers, a cofounder and managing director at the company, is also a venture partner at the firm. GratisPay was backed by the well-known Samwer brothers, the founders or investors in many European startups (many of which intentionally mimick formative companies elsewhere). They’re also investors in Facebook.