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Updated: From his ostentatious display of wealth to his appearance on Fox’s “The Secret Millionaire,” one thing is for sure, if you live in Silicon Valley, you’ve heard of Gurbaksh Chahal, also known as “G.” Thanks to his antics, there are many tall tales about the […]

chahal.jpgUpdated: From his ostentatious display of wealth to his appearance on Fox’s “The Secret Millionaire,” one thing is for sure, if you live in Silicon Valley, you’ve heard of Gurbaksh Chahal, also known as “G.” Thanks to his antics, there are many tall tales about the man. And while they may or may not actually be true, one thing cannot be denied: He has a nose for money. And now he’s out raising capital for his third and newest startup, gWallet, a San Francisco-based provider of virtual currency.

Chahal is looking to raise around $10 million in venture funding, according to Silicon Valley sources. (Chahal told the AllFacebook Inside Facebook blog in August that he was going to raise a big round in the next few quarters.) The company, which has also snared former venture capitalist, Alex Gove, is said to be attracting BlueLithium alumni. Gove worked with Walden VC, the firm that backed BlueLithium.

And BlueLithium, of course, was one of two online advertising starups founded by “G,” the other being ClickAgents. They were sold to ValueClick and Yahoo, respectively, for a total of $340 million. BlueLithium was acquired for a whopping $300 million, though it still isn’t clear what Yahoo has done with it.

When it launched earlier this year, gWallet was focused on the online coupons business, but since then has switched gears and is focusing on the virtual currency business. This is an increasingly crowded space, one in which competitors such as Offerpal and Super Rewards have an early-mover advantage. Others, such as social gaming startup, Zynga, have started their own virtual currency-related efforts.

Updated: I spoke with Gurbaksh and he confirmed that the company is in talks with multiple venture capitalists. Either the company is going to raise $10 million over next four weeks or they will wait till January 2010 before raising money. In the interim, the company is going to keep hiring and growing its business, helped by funds from Chahal. “This space is much like the Wild West advertising market when I started my first company back in 1999,” he said. Chahal believes that he can build a better mousetrap and put together a crack sales team. “We are looking to apply this model to micro transactions beyond social gaming,” he said. For instance, WiFi-in-the-sky or WiFi at airports are two places where his company can easily expand.

By Om Malik

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  1. This is the end of the line for G. This idea will likely fail. As a matter of fact it already has but the switch to virtual currently will also fail, so G may have the dubious honor of succeeding twice and failing twice. Just hope for his sake that he hasn’t spent all his money by now.

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  2. All I am going to say is ‘Welcome’. With his entrepreneurial spirit, God knows we can use some fresh perspective around here. Plus, who is measuring the barometer as to how crowded this industry is? Didn’t we just start monetizing the virtual currency via offer networks less than two years ago??? I highly doubt we have reached the end of our ropes already here. My bank acct sure as hell doesn’t agree.

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  3. He’s in talks with lots of VC’s right now? But may wait until January? Sounds like things are not going well enough to raise money right now so he may have to try again next year. He also said he was going to raise money when he first announced Gwallet (but never did). I think this guy has run out of bullets.

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    1. :-)

      By the way he does have a lot of his own money which might help him grow the company.

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  4. I wish everyone good luck and hope all good ideas get funded and become successful. This particular person announced a “round” last year — it never happened. Then we see the original idea got tossed. Now we hear that this new round may or may NOT happen now. No serious person proclaims such things unless they are bluffing which is what I am guessing is the case here.

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  5. It’s pretty hard to have one successful startup, especially at age 16. The odds having another one just a few years later is also very low, especially at 21. But, if there is an entrepreneur with a track record that could pull it off – it’d be this one. I guess the skeptics and cynics will only see as time goes on.

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  6. That is why he’s going to Europe to get investors.. because he’s too cheap. i believe its a fad that wont last.

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