For Badgeville Co-Founder Kris Duggan, the news has a certain significance. Two years ago the company launched at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco. At the time, it was Duggan and his co-founder Wedge Martin. The company had raised $300,000, and the business consisted of a half-dozen customers. Today, Badgeville has $40 million in venture capital, 80 full-time employees, three offices, and 200 customers that include Dell, Barnes & Noble, and Oracle.
Since then, gamification has grown. Duggan says a “gamification” search shows 6.5 million results. Two years ago, there were a couple thousand results. Badgeville has grown into a platform that companies are using to launch gamification services for healthcare and other markets. With Salesforce.com, Badgeville is packaging its service to offer a platform of its own.
Duggan sees the service as a way to bring the Badgeville platform to different apps via an API. For instance, developers can now use the service to integrate into existing Salesforce.com social apps like Radian 6 or Ripple.
Part of the goal is for Badgeville to have an impact on the sales culture. Duggan started his career in sales. As he points out, salespeople are often poked by their bosses to do better. The point here is to offer a way to give sales managers a way to give their salespeople a carrot.
Badgeville has done well in the market competing with companies, such as Bunchball, Omniture, and Prooflink. It is a platform more than anything else. This news represents a shift for the technology to be a platform for apps. That’s a change that will play a role in the company’s next evolution and test it to see if it can take gamification to the wider universe of the app landscape.