Maiden Marketing Pte Ltd, which owns and operates Pokkt.com, an alternate mobile payment platform that helps owners of paid digital goods and services to monetise their users through an advertiser-funded model, has raised seed funding from Singapore-based Jungle Ventures and former Indiagames COO Samir Bangara.
A source privy to the development told Techcircle.in that Pokkt raised under $500,000 from this round, which was closed in February this year but was not disclosed till now. The startup will use the money to expand its product as well as technology team.
Pokkt (pronounced as pocket) was founded in July 2012 in Singapore by Rohit Sharma (CEO), Vaibhav Odekar (COO) and Sharad Ingule (CTO).
An MBA from Lancaster University in the UK, Sharma was CEO (digital business) at Reliance Entertainment until January last year when he quit to set up Wopshop, an e-com venture for toys. This stopped operations some time ago. In the past he has been involved with creation of Zapak.com and is also a founding member of Indiatimes.com.
His partner Odekar holds an MBA from IIM Lucknow. Previously, he worked with ICICI Bank and Zapak. Ingule is a computer engineer who also holds an MBA degree from Mumbai University. In the past, he worked with Moneycontrol.com, Bigadda.com and Sony Online.
Pokkt provides users, who want to purchase digital content on web or mobile, an opportunity to do it for free by offering multiple alternative payment tools like watching videos, subscribing to services, installing applications and participation in surveys.
For advertisers, it provides multiple engagement tools to reach out to millions of active users both on web and mobile, while for publishers it offers a solution across web, WAP and inâ€“app presence to acquire new customers and monetise the content.
It was part of the inaugural batch of GSF Accelerator. Currently, the firm has 11 employees on board.
"Today, monetisation is the biggest challenge for owners of digital content, products and services. At Pokkt, we help developers and publishers to address this challenge," said Sharma. "We incorporated the firm in Singapore because we felt that it would help us in long run to expand to Southeast Asian markets." The company has close to 30,000 customers across all its platforms, he claimed.
Jungle Ventures is a venture capital firm that funds and helps startups scale across Asia Pacific. Samir Bangara is the former COO of Indiagames and also had a short stint as co-chief of Walt Disney's digital business in India. He is currently MD and CEO of AR Rahman's and Shekhar Kapur's media startup Qyuki.com.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)