MediaSpike, a California-based company looking to monetise gaming through in-game product placement, has attracted the attention of US-based search engine Google’s corporate venturing unit as a backer in a seed round of funding. Joining Google Ventures in the investment are Raptor Capital Management affiliated venture fund Raptor Ventures, venture fund Venture51, actor Robert Downey Junior’s production company Team Downey, early stage seed fund 500 Startups, venture firm CMEA Ventures, tech-focussed venture fund EchoVC Partners, and HNK Ventures, according to an article by news provider TechCrunch linked to by MediaSpike’s website. The exact size of the investment was undisclosed. The funds raised will be used to further develop the product, which is currently still in early rounds of testing, and will open the platform to more developers. The investment highlights a major on-going spending spree for Google, which invested in eight companies in July alone. MediaSpike is developing a method of serving ads in game. For example, if a developer designs an online social game set in a bar, they can highlight areas they’d like to serve ads in, such as posters or clothing. Potential advertisers can then petition the developer through MediaSpike to buy an ad in that space, which is subsequently served through MediaSpike after approval by the developer. CEO Blake Commagere, who developed early, popular role-playing games for Facebook like Zombies and Vampires, told TechCrunch that he found managing the monetisation process “incredibly difficult”. “It got to the point where it felt like I had to choose between spending so much time on this sales cycle and focusing on building games,” Commagere told TechCrunch.

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