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The original idea for PlaySpan Inc. came from Karl Mehta’s 12-year-old son, Arjun, who was an avid gamer in online multiplayer games. He had become one of the best players and his community members bought virtual goods and currencies from him in the game.

The need for a cross-game global commerce and payment platform for in-game digital goods was apparent, so Karl Mehta invested seed capital (after being rejected by 65 venture capitalists) to develop a core team to build a complete platform from the ground up.

After the platform was built and three major publishers agreed to use the platform, the VC situation reversed.

The game industry is very incestuous and is tough to break into, very much like the movie industry, and Mehta had no prior experience with gaming. The idea of allowing gamers to buy and sell their virtual goods in-game was very radical when it was pitched to game publishers.

The first year, there was huge resistance. It took two years of constantly pitching and demonstrating continuous progress when publishers started taking PlaySpan seriously. Today, every major game company executive knows PlaySpan and Mehta, its CEO.

He was the first person to envision a business model based on selling virtual items in the games between publisher to player and player to player. The business model is like Amazon, eBay and PayPal for virtual goods. It was the first company to build this model and is now recognized by industry players as the most innovative in the multibillion-dollar market.

The company is growing at more than 100 percent year over year and is doubling its employee base. There is strong organic growth as more developers, publishers and gamers use the company’s platform to complete transactions.

How to reach: PlaySpan Inc., (408) 617-9155 or