Google just introduced badges to spur readers to consumer more news online.
Now, in another sign that gaming is increasingly integrating with social media across all verticals, Badgeville, the social loyalty platform, just closed a $12 million round of financing.
Back in May, Badgeville CEO Kris Duggan told us, “Gamification is the how, and loyalty is the why. We’re the Salesforce.com of gamification.”
To that end, its patent-pending Dynamic Game Engine and Widget Studio give businesses and marketers technology that increases consumer engagement and loyalty through configurable, real-time, social rewards and analytics.
The Series B round is led by Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) and El Dorado Ventures, and Norwest’s Tim Chang and Tom Peterson from El Dorado Ventures are both joining the board.
“This investment comes at the heels of two consecutive seven-figure sales quarters, and 40 percent quarter over quarter growth,” said Duggan in a release.
We asked Duggan how he’ll use the new funding.
“We will be growing our team to support the influx of demand we’ve seen. We are looking to expand in every area including sales, marketing, services, support, product and engineering as well as build out our executive team. We are looking to add to our already stellar team coming from Omniture, Google, Amazon, Salesforce.com, American Express, Zynga, Playdom, WebEx, Lithium, and more.”
Launched at TechCrunch Disrupt last fall, Badgeville counts more than 75 customers including Discovery Communications, NBC, Bluefly.com, Interscope Records, Major League Gaming, LiveMocha, The Active Network, and Deloitte Digital.
Badgeville customers report on average, a 30% plus increase in business objectives including visits, retention and conversions.
“Based on learnings from our investments in Playdom and ngmoco, I’ve been actively speaking about the potential to leverage game mechanics in non-gaming industries for the past couple years, and have been seeking the right investment opportunity in gamification-as-a-SaaS offering,” said Tim Chang, Partner at Norwest Venture Partners.
Duggan said the company’s biggest surprise has been seeing just how large the market is for gamification.
“Virtually every vertical and industry can benefit from engaging users more deeply, using proven techniques from game play. We’ll continue to scale to meet that widespread demand. We feel very bullish on the pervasiveness and universal nature of our platform. We think as you watch our company and product lines unfold, you'll see that we continue to sit at the forefront of the industry.”
Turns out gamification is not just a game anymore.