Gamification is thought of as a hyped buzzword by skeptics, but it’s increasingly being used by corporations to incentivize consumers and motivate employees. As enterprise adoption of gamification grows, that could make gamification startups the next hot acquisition target in the coming years.
While skeptics still scoff at the term gamification, Badgeville keeps gaining the trust of big companies and investors, who believe in its power. Badgeville announced Wednesday it raised $25 million led by Interwest Partners, bringing its total funding to $40 million to date.
Memrise, a TechStars Boston graduate, has raised $1.05 million for its gamified approach to memorizing languages. The company supports six languages officially and has more than a million words created by its community. It’s now looking to expand beyond languages and will launch mobile apps soon.
Bunchball, the social gaming software company, has raised $6.5 million in a new funding round. The San Jose, Calif.-based startup has recently received “knocks on the door” from potential acquirers, but opted to raise money instead to bet on growing more, CEO Jim Scullion told me.
Alexander the Great set his own warships ablaze just to send the message there was no turning back. Two thousand years later, SCVNGR founder Seth Priebatsch doesn’t want to take over the world — he just wants to “build game layers” on top of it.
Despite some bad examples of gamification, the concept of adding game mechanics to tasks has merit as I’ve said when done in a thoughtful way. And that takes offering real world rewards, said Irving Fain, CEO of New York start-up CrowdTwist.
Last week began with stories that social game maker Zynga was raising $250 million at a valuation north of $7 billion. By the end of the week, the company was close to raising twice that, at a $10 billion figure. Bubble talk aside, why would anyone think Zynga was worth that much?