Casual online game advertising platform NeoEdge has merged with Offspring, the social games company founded and led by three former Pogo.com founders and execs.
As a blended organization, the teams -- still called NeoEdge -- will begin developing casual and social games alongside the platform technology to serve ads within them. Pogo.com founders Lesley Mansford, Andrew Pedersen, Karen Schulman, and Todd Heringer will chip in their casual business model and brand-building experience, with NeoEdge's experience backing online media ad efforts.
Mansford will be the company's new CEO, while Petersen and Heringer, plus NeoEdge's Dan Servos, become senior VPs. Aside from leading the growth of Electronic Arts' Pogo casual portal, Mansford spent over 16 years with EA in various roles surrounding the publisher's online, mobile and packaged goods strategy.
NeoEdge says Pedersen has built over 100 original online casual games as Pogo vice president, in addition to roles with Broderbund and Mattel. Fellow Pogo co-founder Schulman also worked on the EA Sports brand, and in her most recent position was GM of Windows Gaming at Microsoft. Heringer, formerly senior VP of studio operations at EA, has experience building and growing development and publishing teams in Europe and Asia.
NeoEdge's platform inserts full-screen and mid-roll video ads, overlays and sponsorships during gameplay, and offers players social rewards in games. The company says it's deployed more than 500 ad-supported casual games across the networks of publisher partners like Yahoo! and NBC Universal.
The company currently has a patent pending for its tech, and recently wrapped a $4 million financing round led by Vanedge Capital -- which counts former EA execs Paul Lee and Glenn Entis among its principals -- with co-leadership from Jefferson Partners.
Says CEO Mansford: "This professional pairing ratchets NeoEdge up to the next level by offering original high-quality content, expertise in building social features and unique advertising sponsorships, and new business models like virtual goods."
Agrees Lee: "This merger is a perfect fit, combining NeoEdge's strong technical advertising platform with the Offspring teams' business and game development acumen and deep knowledge in the casual and social games space."