SponsorPay Raises $5 Million From Nokia Growth Partners as It Moves Into Mobile

By Kim-Mai Cutler Comment

SponsorPay, a European virtual currency monetization company, picked up $5 million in funding from Nokia Growth Partners to fuel a new line of products focused at mobile developers. Like many monetization companies that first cut their teeth with social games on the Facebook platform, SponsorPay is moving into mobile apps.

The Berlin-based company has been working on a set of new SDKs tied to the biggest smartphone platforms that let developers offer gamers virtual currency in exchange for installing applications, filling out surveys or watching videos.

It’s quite similar to what Tapjoy, formerly known as Offerpal, has turned into in the U.S. and what Adknowledge is attempting to do with its recent set of Android and iPhone SDKs.

Facebook has become a less hospitable place for third-party monetization companies, particularly as Credits are set to be the sole payments method for canvas games by July. At the same time, the business model that has proven successful on the Facebook platform — free-to-play with virtual goods — is proliferating on mobile platforms. The number of iOS apps offering in-app purchases more than tripled from October to December.

SponsorPay’s clients include Disney’s Playdom, Ubisoft, and 6waves. Given its roots in Europe, it also serves local platforms like Germany’s VZNet, Netherlands’ Hyves and Belgium’s Netlog. The company is also backed by Team Europe Ventures, Hasso Plattner Ventures and Kite Ventures.