Incoming Viximo CEO Sees a Burgeoning Economy of Virtual Goods

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10 to 20 credits; you can buy 15 credits in the store for $3.00, 100 credits for $10.00, or 225 credits for $20.00.

Viximo may be the only company that offers both a system for selling virtual goods and the goods themselves, which clients can either plug directly into their own virtual gift stores or customize at will. New York-based microtransaction startup LiveGamer, which acquired virtual goods currency specialist TwoFish last fall, is a competitor on the infrastructure side, and other companies such as VirtualGreats supply digital content. But while these parties solve specific pieces of the virtual goods puzzle, “Nobody provides one solution like Viximo,” says Brian Balfour, Viximo’s founder and vice president of marketing.

Strang comes to Viximo from 5to1.com, a San Francisco-based online advertising network, and spent 11 years before that in executive vice-president roles at IGN Entertainment, which runs a network of gaming sites, and Ziff Davis Media. He says his experience in the advertising and entertainment worlds will help him position Viximo to start producing real revenue.

“The company is now at the point where we are going to be putting our stuff in front of millions of people and generating significant usage,” Strang says. “The board was looking for someone who understands the consumer Internet and interactive entertainment and had some experience growing a business in those worlds. I’m here to start growing substantial revenue out of our network.”

Sledding Santa virtual gift from ViximoStrang argues that trends in interactive entertainment technology have often been the harbingers of changes coming to the general culture, and that he was attracted to Viximo because the virtual goods phenomenon may point the way toward big shifts in the way commerce will work online in the future.

“The interactive market is a leading indicator of how people are going to distribute, consume, engage with, and perceive content,” Strang says. “Just look at all the moving cameras in TV football broadcasts—that stuff all appeared in video games first. The old question on the Internet is how you get people to pay for anything. Virtual goods and microtransactions seem to hit the right point of perceived value and willingness to part with money. I just want to be part of that.”

Viximo has 20 employees and has raised $10 million in venture backing in two roughly equal chunks, including a Series B round last May led by North Bridge, with Sigma Partners also participating.

It’s one of at least three startups funded by North Bridge that have gone through CEO-level departures or replacements in the last year. The other two are Needham, MA-based Mobicious, creator of the SnapMyLife mobile photo sharing community, where Mass High Tech reported in September that former Playboy executive Edward Lang had taken over the CEO position from founder George Grey, and My Perfect Gig of Lexington, MA, where former CEO Blair Heavey left in 2009 and has not been replaced, according to the management page of the company’s website.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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  • http://www.dailygrommet.com Jules Pieri

    Welcome to the Boston startup scene Dale! Thanks for covering Viximo, and the virtual goods space Wade. I completely agree with Dale that gaming behaviors and technologies often foreshadow broader commercial applications.

    I have similarly been tracking virtual goods for a few years because this area is truly pioneering the penetration of real commerce in social media communities, and now even content platforms. It still amazes me that e-commerce and social media have not truly married up, with the huge exception of virtual goods. I like the Viximo story and wish the team well with their comprehensive, platform approach.

  • Pingback: The Path To 60 Million Monthly Users; Welcoming Dale Strang as CEO « Viximo Virtual Goods Market Blog

  • theslingster

    Welcome back east Dale!

    Make sure you have a good accounts due dept. A ton of companies will grab at the virtual goods stick in an effort to save themselves-but more most it won’t work or provide enough revenue to replace ad and subscription loss.

    peter

  • http://blackplanet joseph e lyles

    To whom this may concern
    There has been a number of issue with the gaming with viximo game VIP they have been members on this that hacked into your system and have figured out how obtain pics without paying for them i have contacted viximo of blackplant to pointe this issue out but they seem to think i am blowing smoke but these played similar game on tagged in which you have and they figured out how go on peoples page and take there pics without paying for them my only issue to this matter is that changed the landscape and still have,nt addressed this issue i truely enjoy playing this game but to let a member have that kind of advvantage is crazy and being that other member have to spend their hard earned money should not be tolerated please assist your fellow co-work to come up with a solution to address this matter !!

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