Gambit Launching Payments Engine for Social App & Game Developers

gambitlogoVirtual currency monetization and payments are hot on the Facebook Platform right now, and Inside Facebook has the exclusive on a new startup that is helping social network application and online game developers do just that.

Gambit, which has been operating in stealth mode for six months, is launching publicly for the first time today.

The company’s team – Noah Kagan, formerly of Facebook, Chris Smoak, formerly at Amazon, and Andrew Hunter, formerly at Ning – didn’t originally start out to build a payments company. Rather, the three have been building Facebook applications themselves since the Platform launched nearly two years ago. When they weren’t satisfied with existing solutions, they decided to build their own payments product in house, and opened it up to a few others to try. Because it was performing so well, they decided to shut down their other applications and focus on building out a payments service.

Now, Gambit is focusing on apps and games where there is user demand for virtual currency. Gambit lets users obtain virtual currency through a variety of methods, including direct payments through credit cards, PayPal, Amazon, mobile payments through Zong, and its own managed network of offers. Gambit manages the relationships with payment vendors, and handles all payment-related customer support. The company says integration with the Gambit API is very similar to that of other payment providers and should only take a few minutes.

Gambit’s co-founders say the company have spent the last three months focusing on three areas:

  1. Optimization. First, Gambit tests which payment method is working best – if the app is mostly used by adults, credit cards or Paypal may work best; if it’s used mostly by high schoolers, mobile payments might perform better. Second, the company tests different price points – for example, should it give users the option to buy virtual currency for $19.99 or $20, etc.
  2. reportcustCustomization. All of the CSS is completely customizble for app developers who want to change the way the payment options look and feel. In addition, the service is localized into 15 languages. If users are in France, the payment options will be presented in French, and so on for Spanish, Norwegian, German, Turkish, and 10 others.
  3. Transparency. Gambit’s admin tools show developers the details on how much they make on every transaction on a per-user level.reportusers This helps developers understand which users are the most valuable, and what users are doing.

The company says it is now working with School Vandals, myFarm, and several other top application developers, as well as destination websites like SmallWorlds. Overall, Gambit’s business is split roughly 40% Facebook, 25% MySpace, 25% destination sites, and 10% mobile. The mobile service is WAP based – Gambit has developed an iPhone version, but Apple does not allow third party payment integration on iPhone apps currently.

gambitschoolvandals

Chad Boyda, developer of School Vandals, said he’s seen improved monetization rates since implementing Gambit.

“We were able to change all of the colors, fonts, etc. to match the look and feel of our game which provided a more seamless integration into our game. Upon doing so we saw immediate jumps in conversion rates,” Boyda says.

In addition, Gambit is working on a subscriptions product that will be coming out soon.

At the end of the day, the virtual currency monetization/payments space is all about providing better results, customization, deep analytics, and high quality customer service. Gambit and current players in the space, including Offerpal Media, Super Rewards, Social Gold, Peanut Labs Media, SocialCash, Twofish, and Playspan, are all fighting to prove to developers that they can deliver on all those fronts. App developers are likely to continue to testing out different providers to see which work best for them.

Gambit has received angel funding and is based in Berkeley, California and Austin, Texas.

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17 Responses to “Gambit Launching Payments Engine for Social App & Game Developers”

  1. Gambit Launching Virtual Currency Monetization Service for Social App & Game Developers says:

    [...] > Read more at Inside Facebook digg_skin = ‘compact’; digg_bgcolor = ‘#000000′; Bookmark This [...]

  2. Gambit is now Live - Noah Kagan’s Okdork.com says:

    [...] For a more in-depth review of Gambit, check out the Inside Facebook write up. [...]

  3. Anon says:

    I’ll tell you this, PeanutLabs is definitely not of the same caliber as the guys in this article. They astroturf app developers through fake developer reports and use fake accounts to hype their service. It’s quite a racket those guys have over at PeanutLabs. Their CEO then comes in and tries to clean up the mess, but I’m sure he’s behind it. PeanutLabs = social forum spammers

    As for GetGambit, they’re solid as hell.

  4. noah kagan says:

    Great article Justin! Now, back to work:)

  5. Andy says:

    Good article. I should check them out. I’m currently running with Peanut Labs and have been pretty happy with them. But what the heck, its all about trying to squeeze more juice ya?

  6. Brian says:

    The guys at Gambit are SHARP. I don’t think anyone would regret working with them.

  7. Amy Jussel says:

    Neophyte parent question here: For the tweens (yes, I know they shouldn’t be on FB, and other U13 COPPA sites, but they ARE) is there a prepaid or debit integration to enable ‘gifting’ from adults (loading an account for use) to keep charges/surprises out of the picture. (e.g. the ‘texting/phone overage’ dilemma?) Noah, I’m sure you’ve already thought of this, oh sage youth Yoda of digital opportunity…;-) Debrief in laymen’s terms, please?

    http://www.ShapingYouth.org

  8. yanira says:

    i perchased something and never receved foo dollars what went wrong need help

  9. SpareChangePayments: Raking in the Coin | Blippitt says:

    [...] Gambit Launching Payments Engine for Social App & Game Developers (insidefacebook.com) Related Items: I’m on Facebook–Now What???: How to Get Personal, Business, and Professional Value from Facebook Facebook Me! A Guide to Having Fun with Your Friends and Promoting Your Projects on Facebook Popularity: 1% [?]SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “SpareChangePayments: Raking in the Coin”, url: “http://www.blippitt.com/sparechangepayments-raking-in-the-coin” }); Sphere: Related Content Tweet This  Did you enjoy this post? Be sure to get the feed. Have you seen our Master CPA List? Follow us on Twitter. [...]

  10. Payment Industry Perspectives: Q&A with Gambit Co-founder Noah Kagan says:

    [...] to Gambit, a new virtual currency monetization and payment service for social apps and games that went public for the first time here on Inside Facebook back in [...]

  11. Offerpal Files Suit Against Gambit for Trademark Infringement says:

    [...] Gambit, which publicly launched for the first time on Inside Facebook 90 days ago, has raised angel funding and built a small team. [...]

  12. jean pirnat says:

    need this uninstalled. been charger 19.99 twice and did not sign up for anything

  13. Sasha Gill says:

    I am a Yoville player on Facebook. Recently Gambit took over from Super Rewards and so far Gambit sucks. They do not pay for the offers done and the customer service is aweful. Many many people have reported them to the BBB. I can only hope their contract is a short trial based one.

  14. Sarah Hallback says:

    I, too, have been scammed by Gambit through the Mafia Wars app.

    I completed an order, sent them a copy of the confirmation email, as requested by the AUTOMATED response email (which was the ONLY response within 24 hours), and now I do not even have any offers area on my game app, along with all of the contact history being gone.

    I guess this is their way to try and erase the evidence of the order, much less any options to inquire about it.

    Am currently speaking with lawyers about starting a class action lawsuit against all companies involved (Gambit, Zynga, and Direct TV)

    Gambit Payments Ticket #3045401

    http://www.facebook.com/search/?q=getgambit#/profile.php?id=100000161680114&ref=profile

  15. Debra Burke says:

    I have been an on line game user for as long a I can remember and the preceding inaccurate and inflammatory comments that I just read from above compelled me to respond to their idiotic further from the truth opinions. Gambit ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love working with them and their customer service has been outstanding and very responsive, payment option original and efficient and they are always striving to improve their product. I will continue using them as they work well for me. I am also reporting to the BBB how awesome they are. Wake up people………….

  16. LINDA says:

    GAMBIT SUCKS, THE CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE WORSE. I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO RESOLVE ISSUE WITH THEM SINCE SEPTEMBER AND THEY DONT EVEN RESPOND. DOES ANYONE HAVE THE NUMBER TO CALL CUSTOMER SERVICE FOR GAMBIT??

  17. B says:

    If anyone is interested in filing a class action lawsuit against Gambit (Kickflip Inc, Gambit Labs, Gambit Services), please let me know or else I will just sue them through small claims. I did the DirecTV offer through their link a month ago and no credit. I emailed them almost every day and got 2 response one telling me they will take a while to verify another after 2 weeks that they were waiting on advertiser still, then nothing for over a week, then I dug through net tried Noah Kagan’s Twitter and gmail email from okdork.com, no response. Then I found Noah Kagan’s personal work email address and cellphone (haven’t called him YET), then the NEXT day after I sent out email to Noah and Gambit again, their customer service rep Sungho emailed me telling me he’s calling advertiser right now, then 1-2 hours later he emailed back saying advertisers were unable to verify my info etc… and they cannot credit me…….I called DTV they said they didn’t get any calls from them and have no idea who they are and the offer…so I told Sungho that DTV never got a call from you guys, who did you talk to? He said they go through a different channel to verify/track their offers, so I asked for that phone# so I can call myself, because I can provide more info than he can (cookies etc…), he told me he cannot give that info out…I asked then how do I know he actually called them? Since looking on the net seems MANY others has had this problem with Gambit, where they tell them they didn’t complete the offer when they did. With this many complaints of the same situation plus various others I believe we can definitely win against Gambit. I know I 100% completed the offer and is now in a 2 year contract with DTV and I’ve already paid my first month’s bill from them. Gambit need to credit me for the offer. My Gambit support ticket about this is # 3499951. It is FRAUD what they are doing.

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