Offerpal Media buys Tapjoy to expand into mobile app monetization

Offerpal Media is expanding into mobile today with its acquisition of Tapjoy, a company that helps monetize mobile apps.

Offerpal specializes in offers, encouraging users to pay for virtual goods in free-to-play online apps such as Facebook games. Instead of buying better in-game weapons with a credit card or electronic payment system, Offerpal lets users fulfill special offers from advertisers, like signing up for a Netflix subscription. Terms of the deal between the two companies were not disclosed.

Tapjoy helps monetize apps on Android phones and the iPhone. A case in point is the iPhone’s Tap Tap Revenge. If you agree to install other apps, Tapjoy allows you to download a song for free in the Tap Tap Revenge music game. Tapjoy also lets developers monitor their app usage. In return for generating revenue for customers, Tapjoy keeps a cut.

The founders of Tapjoy — Lee Linden and Ben Lewis — told Techcrunch they are very profitable. More than a 1,000 developers, with a reach of 25 million mobile consumers, are using the Tapjoy platform. The company raised a round of $600,000 from Tugboat Ventures in 2009.

Offerpal has gone through a lot of changes in the past few months. The Fremont, Calif.-based company got caught up in the scandal around scam offers. Users grew angry because various offers tricked them into signing up for services and subscription fees that they didn’t want. George Garrick replaced founder Anu Shukla as chief executive and had to restore confidence in Offerpal’s brand and its offer system. He’s still working on it.