BigDoor's First BigRound: $5 Million From Foundry Group

Seattle startup BigDoor Media has raised $5 million in venture funding as it’s readying the launch of its automated platform that allows website and mobile application publishers to add game-like mechanics and loyalty programs to their sites and apps.

The fresh capital injection comes from Foundry Group, the early-stage investment firm that has backed up and coming companies such as Zynga, Gist, SimpleGeo, Gnip and MediaLets. Foundry Group’s Brad Feld will join the startup’s board of directors as a result of the financing.

BigDoor essentially helps companies build game-like mechanics and loyalty programs into their sites or apps by enabling points, badges, levels, leaderboards, virtual currency and virtual goods – all which are becoming increasingly popular in the Web these days.

Its platform allows publishers to create and manage their own virtual economy and game mechanics through an open RESTful API. The platform can be accessed via the BigDoor website, and provides the API, some sample code and analytics and administrative tools for non-developer types.

Founders Co-op (and others) have been seed-funding the company with just over $700,000 in funding since its founding in 2009, so this round brings the total invested in the company to a healthy $5,715,000.

BigDoor Media was founded by CEO Keith Smith and Jeff Malek. Notably, the pair previously started Zango (formerly ePIPO, 180solutions and Hotbar) back in the nineties, a venture that was and still is associated heavily with spyware and adware. The company ran into trouble with the FTC, and was forced to close its doors mainly because of those issues. The story is neatly chronicled here by Computerworld and on Xbiz.

Both founders openly acknowledge these negative associations in this lengthy but read-worthy blog post, published back in October 2009.