Visa Buys PlaySpan for $190M

Santa Clara, CA-based PlaySpan, creator of a widely used payment platform for digital goods in online and mobile games and social networks, will be acquired by credit card giant Visa (NYSE: V) for $190 million in cash plus milestone-based payments, the companies announced today. Founded in 2006 by Karl Mehta, PlaySpan had raised roughly $46 million in venture capital from Easton Capital, Menlo Ventures, Novel TMT Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank Capital, STIC, Softbank, Vodafone, and GE Asset Management. Visa said the purchase would complement its 2010 acquisition of Mountain View, CA-based online payments processor CyberSource.

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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4 responses to “Visa Buys PlaySpan for $190M”

  1. Wow, this is an expensive deal for Visa. But PlaySpan’s revenues are growing rapidly. Even though PlaySpan’s a private company, you can get PlaySpan’s revenues from PrivCo (the private company financial data provider). According to PrivCo, PlaySpan’s revenues jumped from $4.87 million/year in 2007 to $18.6 million in revenue in 2010 (almost quadruple!)

    But from a deal multiple point of view the deal’s expensive: I pasted the Private M&A Deal Table below for this deal…at $190 million in cash the acquisition price is 10.2x PlaySpan’s revenue (!) Wow. That’s expensive by any measure. Reference:


    Date Announced 02/2011
    Deal Type: Acquisition
    Status: Completed
    Stake Acquired: 100%
    Currency Used: CASH
    Price(Less Assumed Debt)190,000,000
    Total Deal Amount $190,000,000

    Target: PlaySpan, Inc.

    Buyer: Visa Inc.

    PlaySpan, Inc.
    Description: online goods payments
    Target Sector -> Target Industry -> Target Sub-Industry

    Internet -> E-Commerce -> Virtual Economies

    -> Internet -> E-Commerce

    Revenue 18,600,000 P/R 10.2x

  2. G. says:

    Maybe they can afford to give me my job back. They laid me off two years ago, and I still haven’t found a job. Thanks, PlaySpan!!