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[March 01, 2012]
plyfe Raises $1mm Seed Round for the Gamification of Life
NEW YORK, NY, Mar 01, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- plyfe (www.plyfe.me), a revolutionary new gamification service and platform, announced today that it completed a $1mm seed round of funding in February, led by Initial Capital, and is moving from stealth mode to an invitation-only but public beta. Anyone can now visit plyfe.me to request an invitation to the beta launch later in March. People can "move to the front of the line" by sharing plyfe with friends, then they will be able to play games, earn points, move up leaderboards, and redeem points for prizes and products.
"With the growth of social networks and the always-connected lifestyle, consumers have become the new media channel: they create content, attract audiences and act as an additional distribution channel for main stream publications and brands; and we feel they should be rewarded for their time and contribution," said Mateen Aini, CEO and Co-Founder at plyfe.
plyfe gives every consumer the ability to be rewarded for their digital, social, mobile or real-world activities (on plyfe.me or on plyfe's partners' sites, facebook pages, and apps), with status and points that can be used for both products and money-can-not-buy-experiences. In the closed alpha, early users earned points and competed via leaderboards in games by engaging in digital content and facebook or twitter activity. Those users redeemed points for rewards including everything from gift cards to all-inclusive VIP trips to Las Vegas. plyfe.me is both a free consumer destination and a platform for any company looking to increase engagement with their digital and social media touch points.
The plyfe team is a group of veteran entrepreneurs from the mobile, social, advertising, media and e-commerce sectors. Its co-founders include Zaw Thet (Chairman), founder, board member, and long-time CEO of the leading mobile advertising company 4INFO; Mateen Aini (CEO), also part of the founding team at 4INFO and most recently COO at Songwhale; and Jeff Arbour (CMO), formerly SVP at The Hyperfactory, acquired by Meredith Corporation in 2010.
From its inception through its alpha and upcoming beta launch, plyfe has had the backing of an impressive group of venture capital firms and leading angel investors. This seed round was led by Initial Capital LP, a venture capital firm focused on disruptive seed and early stage digital, mobile and social media companies. General Catalyst Partners, BHV VC, and angel investors from the founders' previous companies also participated, including plyfe co-founder and Chairman, Zaw Thet.
Ken Lamb, a veteran angel investor, former Gibson Dunn senior partner, and lead corporate counsel to companies such as Amazon, Intel and Playfish, has joined the plyfe Board of Directors as part of the Initial Capital investment. Sami Lababidi, co-founder of Mindshapes and previously, Macrospace (which was sold to Sorrent in 2004 and became Glu Mobile) and Playfish (sold to EA in 2009) has also joined as a Board Observer. According to Ken, "Initial Capital has looked at numerous start-ups attempting to make social activities more rewarding and fun. plyfe has differentiated itself by developing a disruptive platform and business model that is a win-win for everyone. We see plyfe's vision of points being able to be used for anything and everything, most importantly actual physical products instead of just virtual gifts, as refreshing and revolutionary." About plyfe Founded in 2011, plyfe (www.plyfe.me) is a revolutionary new company that gives any consumer the ability to be rewarded for their digital, social, mobile and real-world activities (through plyfe.me or on partners' properties), by competing in games with leaderboards to earn points that can be redeemed for real prizes and products. Its mission is to make your online, mobile and real-world activities more social, rewarding and fun. Full details and access to plyfe's gamification platform for partners will be announced in April. plyfe's primary headquarters are in New York City, with additional offices in San Francisco and Pittsburgh. Come play life with plyfe! About Initial Capital LP Initial Capital LP is a seed and early stage VC firm and accelerator in companies with disruptive technologies and business models that promise to be future leaders in the digital, mobile and social media spaces. The team is composed of former founders, serial entrepreneurs, investors and advisors in leading companies like Macrospace, Playfish and Mindshapes. The Initial Capital team brings more than capital, it sets itself apart from other early-stage VC firm as members proactively engage with its portfolio companies to provide a range of advice and value add services from the critical seed and early stages to later stages of scaling and exits. Some of the other companies in which Initial Capital has invested are eeGeo, Grey Area, Nexmo, Supercell and SWRVE.
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