gWallet Raises $10.5 Million in First Round Funding
Date: Wednesday , December 30, 2009
gWallet, a virtual currency platform for social media, has received $10.5 million in new funding, bringing the total funding to $12.5 million. The round of financing is led by Adams Street Partners and Trinity Ventures. And, the new funding will be used to further gWallet’s international expansion, with offices opening in Europe to cater to the global brands and advertisers. Currently, gWallet works with several Facebook apps, including FooPets.
Founded by Gurbaksh Chahal, gWallet offers brand engagement opportunities across leading social media and social gaming platforms. Chahal says, "Social media has brought an abrupt change in consumer Internet behavior, where the web experience is now more of a personal experience, interacting with the people closest to us rather than reaching out around the world. Marketers are rushing to be part of this shift and virtual currency is one of the most innovative ways through which brands can connect with consumers."
Social gaming is a lucrative business and along with it, the virtual goods and currency market has heated up. Chahal says that virtual gaming is a $720 million a year business and expects it to grow to more than $2 billion in the next three years. Also, the company hopes to set itself as the leader in cleaning up the virtual currency space, which has recently attracted negative publicity surrounding controversial consumer ‘offers’ presented in social games typically found on the most popular social networking platforms. gWallet claims that its proprietary technology and strict ethical standards will make social media more palatable to big brands. Based in San Francisco, gWallet has 20 employees and was founded earlier this year.
The real differentiator that keeps gWallet apart from its competitors is that it works with brands directly as opposed to the current affiliate model, allowing for a single point of accountability and transparency, when it comes to making offers to consumers in an appropriate way. Besides Offerpal, the rivals for gWallet also include Super Rewards (owned by AdKnowledge) and Gambit.