Playmob – harnessing the power of gamers for good

Playmob was started by Jude Ower , a games industry enthusiast and BAFTA Games judge. She started Playmob in 2011, after seeing the gaming community respond to the Haitian earthquake through online gaming site Zynga.

With one billion hours a week spent playing games, Jude and her team wanted to help the gaming industry give back while achieving positive bottom line results. Playmob use in-app purchases to support social causes, where a % of the purchase goes to a charity and Playmob fee earn a fee from the partner company. A player of ‘Sims’ might purchase a panda for their house, with 50% of this donation going to the WWF’s work supporting endangered species or play Angry Bird’s Epic and the Good Deed bundle will contribute to supporting children’s education globally via Room to Read.

Social and environmental impact

Playmob engages gamers with causes and raises funds in a simple and effective way. To date, Playmob has raised almost $900k for global causes. Since raising investment, they have expanded into non-games companies trialing a new part of their technology – ‘Play Coins’ – virtual tokens are awarded to employees and consumers; they then decide which charity receives it, with the donated cash coming from corporate sponsors. They aim to raise $1bn for causes over the next few years; from 2013-2015 they have been growing 8x year on year and also expanded operations into San Francisco to cover the US market.

Investment

ClearlySo supported their capital raise, which totalled £745k in equity investment, with the deal including investment from Nesta, British Business Bank and £340k investment from Clearly Social Angels. The investment deal won the UKBAA’s 2013 ‘Social Investment of the Year’ Award.

ClearlySo were fantastic to work with – the team were all hands on and managed the process to ensure it was an efficient and smooth experience for all. It took us all in all 5 weeks from pitching to completing the round and this was because of the relevance of angels in the Clearly Social Angels group and the way it was all managed. I would definitely come back to ClearlySo for a next fundraise and recommend them to any entrepreneurs in the social impact space – JUDE OWER, PLAYMOB

Image: Flickr / Creative Commons / George Lu