Palo Alto, Calif.-based IMVU lets users create avatars, or virtual characters, and then decorate their rooms with virtual objects. Some people pay real money for those objects. But there are others who might be more active if they could earn currency in some other way.
Enter Offerpal, which monetizes content through a “managed offer platform.” Offerpal has a network of advertisers who make special offers to users. The advertisers can reward users with points to spend in their virtual spaces if the users fill out forms, sign up for free trials, or take online surveys. Offerpal has to tread a careful line. It can’t be terribly intrusive toward users, nor can it make offers to users who have no interest in what’s being offered. (That is, you can’t offer a credit card to someone under 18 etc.).
Offerpal has more than 2,500 advertising offers that it can target to IMVU’s 5 million unique visitors a month. So far, Offerpal has more than 50 million users in its network and it helps its publishing partners make an average of $75 per 1,000 active daily users.
IMVU was founded in 2004 and has a digital goods catalog of two million times. It raised $10 million in funding in January, while Offerpal raised $15 million in venture capital in February.