Empire Avenue Raises $1.2 Million To Expand Social Media Stock Market With Rewards

August 16, 2011

5:00 pm

Empire Avenue is a social stock market game that turns people into stocks and tracks them along as they participate in social media. It is a social platform centered on your social currency, and it allows everyone to embrace and grow their personal brand, make new value-based connections online and get the most out of social media.

You can be bought and sold on Empire Avenue just like a stock on Wall Street. If you want to find out more about how it works, I would advise you to read Chris Pirillo’s  Empire Avenue tips. Chris is the most valuable stock on Empire Avenue.

Today they announced that they’ve raised a $1.2 million round of funding. The round was lead by Crosslink Capital with participation from Ben Narasin of Triple Point Capital (who incubated Empire Avenue in Silicon Valley), Jeff Lapin, formerly of THQ, and Kevin Swan and Dr. Boris Wertz of Wertz Media Ventures. Empire Avenue plans to use the funds to expand its platform and team.

Empire Avenue reminds me of StockTwits but for people. It also ranks people’s social media influences and activity in a similar fashion to Klout, as it is able to show you and the world just how “influential” you are across your social networks. Empire Avenue offers a range of metrics to show users the value of their networks on sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Flickr.

I think Empire Avenue is going to use the cash infusion to continue to evolve the platform for distributing discounts, coupons and real-world rewards, like Klout has started to do with its perks program. Empire Avenue has already been testing similar concepts. Offers like this one could be used to fuel advocacy programs or simply to encourage deep engagement by people who are active online.

I joined Empire Avenue to test it out and have not been able to get into it. It just keeps sending you notes informing you that you have been bought or sold, which pulls you back into the site to check things out.  I did this for a few days and then realized I just did not have the time to devote to it. But maybe you will find it enjoyable.

What’s your experience been with Empire Avenue? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Frank Gruber is the cofounder, CEO and Executive Editor of Tech.Co (formerly Tech Cocktail). He is the author of the book, Startup Mixology, Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. He is also a startup advisor and investor to startups. Find Frank Gruber online and follow him on Twitter at @FrankGruber.

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