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India In Top Purchasing Countries For Mig33

India is one of the top 5 purchasing countries for Mig33, along with Bangladesh, South Africa, Indonesia and Nepal.

California-based Project Goth Inc, the makers of mobile social networking community mig33 has announced that the sale of virtual gifts in India has doubled in the past six months. Selling virtual gifts such as the Hug, Friend and Teddy Bears is one of the ways the company monetises the service, alongside games and avatars.

It is the month of super hero avatars on Mig33 and the company plans to launch Indian super heroes such as Shaktiman and Saboo. The pricing has not yet been decided. Currently gifts, avatars and games being monetised on the social network are priced between Rs 5-50.

Globally, Mig33's members purchased 40 million virtual gifts in 2010. A break down of the number of gifts sold in Indian was not revealed by the company. From an average of 2 million virtual gifts being sold per month in the first quarter of 2010, Mig33 now sells 4 million per month globally. Mig33 has 40 million members worldwide.

"India has emerged as a key market for mig33. mig33's fast paced growth in India can be attributed to the emergence of a loyal user base, enabling of micro transactions and fast-paced mobile penetration coupled with low cost GPRS plans," said Mohit Gundecha, Head of India Operations, Mig33.

Maintaining a focus on tier-2 and 3 towns, Mig33 currently reaches mobile users in 100 cities in India through its operator partnerships with Aircel, Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular. It was the most downloaded free app on Airtel's App Central store in July 2010 and it continues to retain the momentum.

Speaking to TechCircle.in, Gundecha said that the sub $2 plans being offered by telcos have helped in the growth of mobile applications such as Mig33. The introduction of economical handsets by Chinese handset manufacturers have also contributed to more mobile users seeking entertainment over the mobile Internet.

As its reach has grown in India, Mig33 has slowly shifted away from operators and towards VAS distribution programs with handset makers in an attempt to expand its reach faster and has partnered with Lemon Mobiles for pre-installing Mig33 on all its handsets and Olive Telecom handsets too.

While the Indian telecom sector is buzzing with news of 3G roll outs, Mig33 says it will not affect the application. "Operators rolling out 3G are focused on data revenues and will focus on corporates and premium users. They will look at the big metros and not smaller towns, which is where a large part of our user base lives. 3G will not affect us for the next 2 years atleast, when it is expected to reach into these towns," he said.

Mig33 recently raised $8.9 million in its series C round and has been investing in expanding the service into South Africa and India as well as for developing its monetising channel.

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