Visa Acquires PlaySpan

Visa Inc. today announced through a press release an agreement to acquire PlaySpan Inc., a privately held company whose payments platform handles transactions for digital goods in online games, digital media and social networks around the world. The acquisition of PlaySpan complements Visa’s 2010 CyberSource acquisition and extends the company’s capabilities into one of the fastest-growing segments of eCommerce – digital and mobile commerce.

PlaySpan provides a Monetization-as-a-Service™ platform that allows merchants to monetize their content using a broad suite of payment and commerce-related solutions in fraud and risk management, analytics, merchandizing and global payment connectivity. Merchants use PlaySpan’s technology to enable their consumers to make safe and convenient purchases online for items such as game credits, premium memberships and digital goods.

Last year, global eCommerce sales reached an estimated $948 billion1 and they remain a significant growth opportunity for Visa. Approximately 45 percent2 of U.S. online spend takes place on Visa’s network today. For Visa’s fiscal first quarter 2011, the company reported 25 percent year-over-year growth in eCommerce payment volumes globally.

Within the eCommerce category, PlaySpan is a leader in the relatively new segment of digital goods, which generated an estimated $25 billion in consumer spending globally in 2010, a figure expected to reach $280 billion by 20143.

Visa will pay approximately $190 million in cash, plus additional consideration for performance milestones. PlaySpan is based in Santa Clara, California. The acquisition is expected to be completed in Visa’s fiscal second quarter 2011, pending satisfaction of customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals. The acquisition is expected to be slightly dilutive to Visa’s earnings per share in its fiscal year 2011 ending September 30, 2011.

PlaySpan is backed by top-tier venture funds including Easton Capital, Menlo Ventures, Novel TMT Ventures, STIC Investments, Silicon Valley Bank Capital, Softbank China & India, TimeWarner Investments, Vodafone Ventures and GE Asset Management.