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Buddy Media raises $6.5 million, launches ad network

The company responsible for putting Pirates vs. Ninjas all over your Facebook news feed raises funding from Softbank Capital with contributions from Ron Conway, the European Founders Fund, and others.

Buddy Media, a New York-based company that operates a number of social-media developer platform applications including Pirates vs. Ninjas, Zombies vs. Werewolves, Pub Darts, and a Sudoku game, announced Tuesday that it has raised $6.5 million in Series B funding in a round led by Softbank Capital.

A number of big-name investors like Ron Conway, Greycroft Partners, and the European Founders Fund (which has reportedly put cash behind Facebook) also contributed to the round along with 14 of the company's Series A investors.

Buddy Media uses a loyalty program called AceBucks across all its gaming applications, in which players can earn points that they can eventually trade in for real-world goods. Additionally, the company develops branded applications for clients like InStyle magazine, Anheuser-Busch,, and the Huffington Post.

Michael Lazerow, founder and CEO of Buddy Media, told me earlier this week that the company had initially wanted to raise $3 million in its Series B round, but investor interest raised it to $5 million and then finally $6.5 million. Previously, the start-up pulled in $1.7 million in Series A funding in a round led by PayPal founder and Facebook investor Peter Thiel.

Softbank Capital's Eric Hippeau and Karin Klein will join Buddy Media's board of directors.

Lazerow told me that Buddy Media is "even more excited" about its other announcement, the debut of its social-media ad network. The invitation-only network will extend to "premier developers" on Facebook as well as OpenSocial-compatible platforms.

A number of digital advertising companies, including AdBrite, have launched ad networks for the developer applications that have been flooding social networks for the past year. But Lazerow hopes that BuddyMedia will get a leg up from its history: developing and operating applications itself.