Virtual Currency Startup Offerpal Names Shah CRO

Mihir Shah

Virtual currency startup Offerpal Media has named Mihir Shah as chief revenue officer. Shah most recently served as vice president of Ad Networks for widget maker RockYou, where is credited with helping to grow the company's revenues by more than 500%, and more than quadrupling gross margin.

Founded in 2007, Offerpal is one of an emerging group of companies that help developers monetize applications on social networks like Facebook and Bebo via in-game offers from marketers such as Netflix and eBay. By taking a brief survey or signing up for a trial, users can earn virtual currency for game play and publishers take their cut for lead-generation.

Just last month, George Garrick came on to replace founder Anu Shukla as the company's CEO. "These are exciting times for the entire social advertising industry," said Garrick, adding that Shah "puts us in an aggressive position for 2010."

Garrick is best known as the former CEO of direct marketing ad network Flycast Communications, which was sold to CMGI in 2000 for $2.3 billion. More recently, he has served as CEO of Wine.com, Jingle Networks and Mochi Media, which operates an ad network for online games.

Earlier this month, Offerpal launched a new program that lets consumers earn virtual currency for social games by buying from hundreds of online retailers. The "Offerpal Shopping" program allows users to get virtual money back for every dollar they spend online at stores including Proflowers, the Gap, Macys.com and Priceline.

Earlier this year, meanwhile, the company raised $15 million in a venture financing round led by D.E. Shaw Ventures. It had previously raised $4.6 million from the same group of investors including InterWest Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners.

Prior to RockYou, Shah was an investor and founder of CookEatShare.com, a vertical social network connecting home chefs from around the world.

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3 comments about "Virtual Currency Startup Offerpal Names Shah CRO".
  1. Jonathan Mirow from BroadbandVideo, Inc. , December 16, 2009 at 2:07 p.m.

    Beans, baby. Does anyone remember Beans? This was some kind of internet currency that was points based but also had a cash value. I think Whoopee Goldberg invested heavily in Beans. Went nowhere f-f-f-fast. Just like this product. Another 15 mil in VC funding down the tubes. PayPal works fine.

  2. Greg Hall from Yebol , December 16, 2009 at 4:46 p.m.

    S&H Green stamps...anyone go back that far? Eventually, there'll be a real world exchange for virtual currency. Oh, wait...there already is: it's called the forex.;-)

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited , December 17, 2009 at 7:04 p.m.

    Yes, I remember how important it was to collect and paste green stamps because parents could get things they really NEEDED vs what they wanted like toasters. People depended upon those stamp earned toasters as part of their buying capacities. Watching a movie, not so much. (There were no credit cards either with just mortgages and cars financed for most families. Not only was cash king, there was nothing else to replace it.) Coke had, maybe still has, as point thingy. You'd have to drink barrels a day to get a pen. Currency = value. If there is no or very little value, the currency will be worth as much. Great value increases currency desire.