Games ad network to expand

US in-game advertising network Double Fusion has secured $26m (13m) to drive expansion.

US in-game advertising network Double Fusion has secured $26m (£13m) to drive expansion.

The company says it "will be aggressively scaling key areas of the business, including its media sales, technology and international operations to maintain its leadership in what analysts project to be one of the fastest-growing worldwide media businesses".

The financial investment has been led by Norwest Venture Partners. Double Fusion started the fundraising effort earlier this year (MW July 27) as it prepared for the arrival of the next-generation of gaming.

The in-game advertising sector has seen rapid growth and investment in the past 12 months. Earlier this year, IGA Worldwide secured a $5m (£2.7m) investment from Intel Capital to complete a funding round of $17m (£9.3m) and Microsoft bought Massive for a reported $400m (£220m).

The in-game advertising sector was reported to be worth £56m (£28m) in 2005, with estimates that it will grow to between £700m and £1.8bn by 2010.

The growth in the sector has been driven by advertisers seeking to engage hard-to reach audiences.

Double Fusion chief executive officer Jonathan Epstein says: "Videogames are providing a new advertising vehicle that not only delivers a highly engaged audience, but fundamentally changes the way consumers are able to interact with brands. Advertising, in turn, creates new business models for game companies that will continue to accelerate the growth of the gaming audience.

"The commitment and confidence of these premier financial and strategic partners is recognition of both the huge potential of the in-game advertising market and of Double Fusion’s leading position within that market."

Double Fusion was founded in 2004 and clients range from Procter & Gamble to Xfm radio.

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