PlaySpan, run 12-year-old CEO, gets $6.5M in venture capital

A Silicon Valley company run by a 12-year-old CEO has just raised $6.5 million in venture capital.

PlaySpan, based in Santa Clara, Calif. says it offers game publishers a technology that lets users make payments and shop for other items. It calls itself the first “publisher-sponsored in-game commerce network.”

Arjun Mehta, a 6th grader, says on his Web site that he is passionate about software that can make the game experience more “rewarding,” and that he started the company last year in his garage. He paid for it from earnings made from selling online game items he won from quests he fought.

This has got to be downright depressing for most budding entrepreneurs, most of whom strike out while pitching investors for funds, even in their 30s or 40s.

This is the second company led by a middle-schooler of south Asian heritage. In May we wrote about 13-year old founder and chief executive, Anshul Samar, who runs an educational gaming company.

The difference is that PlaySpan is making all the sounds of a traditional silicon valley company, right down to the slick web site and a press release manufactured by a PR firm that is barely decipherable. Mehta will probably learn to write his own press releases within a year

New York based Easton Capital led the funding round, along with Silicon Valley based Menlo Ventures, South Korea based STIC International and Hong Kong based Novel TMT Ventures.

The release said the market for “in-game commerce” has surpassed $2 billion this year and continues its rapid growth as more publishers adopt micro-transaction based revenue models.
Shawn Carolan,of Menlo Ventures, has some experience with gaming, as a board member of virtual world game, IMVU. The young Mehta even knows how to pick his VCs.