Web Apps & E-Commerce SIG: Game Commerce panel!

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  • SVForum Web Apps & ECommerce SIG presents ~ Game Commerce panel!

    Speakers: Bipul Sinha: Partner - Lightspeed Venture Partners, Brian Wong: CEO - Kiip, Bill Grosso: CTO and SVP Products - LiveGamer, Chethan Ramachandran: CEO, Playnomics

    RSVP: http://meetup.com/svforum-websig [Note - RSVP early, this event fills up quickly]

    Topic Description:
    Call it "Game Commerce", "$G" Commerce, "Gee!" Commerce, or virtual goods monetization -- the games ecosystem is in fast forward mode with gazillion new monetization methods and platforms transporting users to new experiences. This market did not exist ten years ago, and today it is estimated to be worth billions of dollars. Games, shopping and sharing now are becoming ubiquitous online, on facebook, and on mobile devices. Boggle your mind with this mix of facts and figures: Zynga and others trying to build their own platform in addition to facebook while:

    With social gaming, new revenue doors have opened up for gaming commerce. People all over are spending time and money on virtual goods: clothes for their characters in online hangouts, virtual pets and pet foods for feeding their online farms, weapons for their fighters in massively-multiplayer games, and presents for their friends in social networking platforms. Via RockYou 2011:

    • Social gamers spend 13 hours per week on social networks and an average of 9.5 hours per week on social games
    • Social gamers have made 20 new friends through social gaming
    • 24% of players report they have clicked on an ad in a social game and made an online purchase
    • Social gamers make frequent purchases in real life, especially on entertainment

    Our February panel discussed virtual "coupons" for ecommerce. In this session, we expect to stay fully in the virtual world both on the transaction and the merchandise side: Who buys? Who sells? Who benefits form the trade? Our panel will discuss emerging vs. standard platforms, data layers, and packages that can be used to extend the gaming ecosystem online, on facebook, and mobile:

    • ­Platforms and services fueling growth and creating new consumer experiences in games
    • ­What VCs and Angels are looking for in the games ecosystem - team, technology, users
    • ­Who the user is, what techniques gamers can use to attract, sell to, and retain users
    • ­Genres, player identity / characteristics and relative comparison with overall player universe, player engagement, matching players, game recommendations for users
    • ­Technologies and virtual goods available and state-of-the-art technical skills needed to implement effective services for enabling a service layer for the game ecosystem
    • Gaps and opportunities from a technology, virtual goods, platform, and user perspective
    • ­What acquirers are looking for - size, team, technology, customer wise
    • ­Areas of growth for game commerce in 2012 and the coming 2-3 years

    Panelists:
    Bipul Sinha: Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners
    Bipul Sinha is a Partner at Lightspeed and focuses primarily on Internet, mobile and software sectors, with a particular interest in social media, digital media, social utilities/apps, advertising technology, and software infrastructure. Previously, Bipul worked at Blumberg Capital where he led investments in digital media, Internet and datacenter software infrastructure sectors. His selected investments include DoubleVerify, Nutanix, ZipZapPlay, Mertado, Hootsuite and CarWoo. Prior to venture capital, Bipul was with Banc of America Technology Investment Banking Group where he worked on M&A and equity financing transactions. Prior to banking, Bipul was Director of database and middleware products with Oracle Corporation. Bipul also held sales and engineering positions at American Megatrends and IBM. Bipul received his B.Tech. (Honors) in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and holds an MBA from The Wharton School where he was a Palmer Scholar. Bipul also holds several patents in distributed computing.

    Brian Wong: CEO, Kiip
    Brian Wong is the founder and CEO of kiip (pronounced "keep", http://kiip.me), a mobile rewards network, backed by True Ventures. Kiip has raised over $4.4 million in funding to date and is redefining the advertising industry through a "moments"-based value model, versus the traditional attention based screen estate model. Very recently, Kiip was listed by Forbes as one of the "4 Hot Online Ad Companies to Put on Your Watch List". Brian was also recently listed to AdAge’s Creativity Top 50. Techcrunch and the Wall Street Journal called Brian the "youngest person to ever receive funding by a venture capital firm". He was an early Bachelors of Commerce graduate from the University of British Columbia, graduating at the age of 18, after skipping four grades in elementary and high school. He was recently lauded in Mashable as one of "The Top 5 Young Entrepreneurs to Watch", and the Vancouver Sun called him "a budding internet visionary". He was also recently a recipient of the Top 20 Under 20 awards in all of Canada. Before starting kiip, Brian was responsible for key publisher and tech partnerships at the social news website Digg.com. He also launched the Digg Android mobile app, adding to the company’s rising mobile presence.

    Chethan Ramachandran: CEO, Playnomics
    Chethan Ramachandran is the CEO and co-founder of Playnomics (www.playnomics.com). Playnomics' technology enables game publishers to predictively acquire and retain players. The company is backed by FirstMark Capital, Metamorphic Ventures, X/Seed Capital, Accelerator Ventures, and TriplePoint Capital. Prior to starting Playnomics, Chethan spent three years as a partner at a boutique investment fund where he structured, launched, and ran new technology joint ventures. Prior to that, he was part of the founding team and Director of Business Development of a venture backed startup focused on applying predictive analytics to information security. Chethan also has previous experience in technology investment banking and strategy consulting

    Bill Grosso: CTO and SVP Products, Live Gamer
    Bill Grosso is CTO and Senior Vice President of Products of Live Gamer. Bill is a well-regarded software executive with strong operational and strategic experience. An experienced product and engineering leader, he has launched innovative and successful companies and built high-performance multi-national teams in the US, Europe and Asia. Over the past decade, he has been deeply involved in building Web 2.0, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) products for both consumer and business markets. Bill is passionate about creating empowering and innovative organizations, about creating and championing new technologies, and about delivering products to market. He is also a trusted advisor to a number of early stage startup companies. Widely regarded as an expert on virtual currencies and economies, Bill is frequently invited to speak at major industry conferences. Bill holds a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley.

    Agenda:

    6.30 pm - 7.00 pm Snacks, Drinks & Networking

    7.00 pm - 7.15 pm Introductions

    7.15 pm - 8.00 pm Panel Presentations

    8.00 pm - 8.30 pm Moderated Panel

    8.30 pm - 9.00 pm Q&A and Adjourn