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Mobile game monetization startup PlayHaven’s new COO: ‘There is life after Google’

PlayHaven‘s business is all about relationship management and monetization for mobile games. So it makes sense that it would tap a former master of mobile partnerships at Google for its new chief operating officer. Charles Yim, who headed game-focused ad network activities at Google, has joined PlayHaven as its new chief operating officer.

Yim will report to Andy Yang, the chief executive of San Franciso-based PlayHaven. In an interview with GamesBeat, Yim said that he will focus on scaling PlayHaven’s business upward and expanding internationally.

charles yim“PlayHaven has been doing exciting things over the past 18 months, and they have a top-quality mobile ad network and the services that go with it,” Yim said. “Andy is a real product visionary. My task is to help the company scale.”

Previously, Yim (pictured right) served as head of mobile application partnerships at Google. He got game developers to adopt Google ad technologies such as AdMeld, AdMob, AdSense and DoubleClick. He also expanded Google’s mobile strategic partnerships in Argentina, Brazil, and Canada.

Yim joined Google in 2010 as part of the acquisition of AdMob. At AdMob, he was on the business development team. At Google, Yim said he managed a team who interacted with teams at Zynga, Disney, Electronic Arts and others.

Back in November, PlayHaven raised $8 million to finance its international expansion. It raised the money from GGV Capital, E.ventures, and Tandem Entrepreneurs.

PlayHaven’s business comes from a nifty trick. It creates a HTML5 overlay that can pop up inside a game. Developers can use this overlay to create custom offers for their players. For instance, at a particularly tough part in a game, it may offer the player a discount on virtual goods purchases that could help them get past an obstacle. These pop-ups are essentially advertisements, and PlayHaven has built a large ad network to serve ads into the pop-ups. In contrast to other ads, these ads are welcome inside a game because they often relate to what the player is doing.

And PlayHaven has expanded its services, offering analytics and tools for maximizing revenue. The company’s global ad network reaches 4,000 mobile games and 100 million monthly unique users. Those users play more than 2 billion game sessions a month.

“We are building a platform that increases customer engagement and improves marketing tools for specifically targeting end users,” Yim said.

PlayHaven said that its monthly game sessions are up 484 percent compared to a year ago, and the number of games in its network grew 425 percent. The company has 60 employees, and Yim said it’s hiring as fast as it can.

Since 2010, PlayHaven has worked with mobile developers to provide them with tools that help them better optimize their player relationships. It works with developers like Glu, Game Circus, Namco Bandai, Sega, and more.

“We’re thrilled to add Charles to the PlayHaven team,” said Yang. “PlayHaven has experienced tremendous growth and we’re fortunate to gain the strategic leadership and experience Charles brings to the table. We look forward to seeing his shared vision for PlayHaven and operational expertise contribute to our growth and success at every level of the business.”

In closing, Yim said, “There is life after Google.”


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