Ignition’s insane investment pace for 2011 is finishing with a bang. The Bellevue venture capital firm has partnered with Atlas Venture to lead a $6.5 million investment in San Francisco-based Keas, a social gaming startup that’s looking to promote better health and wellness at corporations.
To date, Pfizer, Bechtel and Progress Software have deployed the corporate wellness program, which the company says is designed to create “happier, healthier, more engaged employees.” At Progress Software, for example, 63 percent of participants lost weight and 36 percent reported an improvement in their stress levels.
Keas is led by Adam Bosworth, a former Google and Microsoft executive who previously co-founded the Redmond startup Crossgain. (That company gained notoriety since many of the top-level Microsoft execs who founded it were accused of violating non-compete agreements).
Bosworth and Ignition’s Brad Silverberg, also a former Microsoft executive, go way back. (The two executives worked together in the mid-1980s at software companies Analytica and Borland).
At Keas, they’ve partnered again to try to make Americans healthier using tested gaming techniques
“The real problem is motivation, and that’s where Keas comes in,” Bosworth said in a press release. “It’s Facebook meets Farmville: social, playful and an experience that employees can actually have fun with. That’s the secret sauce, and that’s why it works.”
The so-called Health 2.0 space is one of the hottest things going right now on the Internet, with a number of companies (Seattle’s Mindbloom, EveryMove, Habit Labs, etc.) trying to get a piece of the action.
Ignition’s bet on Keas is one in a number of long line of investments this year, the most active yet for the venture capital firm.
To date, Ignition has invested in about 20 new companies, a blistering pace.
More than a dozen of those companies – Parse, Cloudera, Bromium, BlueStacks, ScaleXtreme, Inporia, Zencoder, Topsy, Hipmunk, SocialEyes, Motif Investing, MinoMonsters, Iron.io and Connected — are based in California.