PlayMob, the company behind Giverboard.com, which enables charities to fundraise through in-game micro-payments, has secured £500,000 investment, the majority being from from NESTA and Midven. The development team, which is based at Birmingham Science Park Aston, is set to grow to 13 people before the end of the year.
PlayMob, which is a graduate of the Science Park’s Entrepreneurs for the Future incubation centre, has developed its 'GiverBoard' technology, connecting computer games with charities. Players are able to fundraise by purchasing virtual items within a game, which can be directly related to a relevant charity. A tractor purchased by a game player could be linked to a charity which plants crops in Zambia. Using the money received from the purchase of a virtual tractor, a square metre of wheat can be planted for a Zambian family.
In addition to the investment from NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) and Midven’s Early Advantage fund, PlayMob has secured a number of angel investors -including newly appointed chairman, Ian Livingstone OBE - to expand its team and grow the marketplace.
Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Birmingham Science Park Aston said: “PlayMob is a first class example of how a talented entrepreneur with a vision can graduate through our Entrepreneurs for the Future incubation centre and go on to achieve significant success.”
The £500,000 investment will enable PlayMob to increase its staff from eight to 13 people. The team will set to work on automating their technology to have a significantly larger reach and will also develop a range of add-ons that will help generate further revenue. PlayMob is seeking to work with brands to incorporate advertising and sponsorship tailored for corporate social responsibility, while also sending a positive message to a large audience.
Founder and CEO of PlayMob, Jude Ower, says: “We passionately believe that gaming can have huge social benefits. Our technology gives charities and brands access to hundreds of millions of game players, during the three billion hours per week spent playing digital games.”
A unique incubation programme, Birmingham Science Park Aston’s Entrepreneurs for the Future centre offers free support for technology start-up companies, providing the opportunity to achieve growth and commercial success through funding support, expert advice and mentoring. Companies taking part in the programme also benefit from free office or desk space for six months, as well as telephone and internet services.