BigDoor closes $5M, touts new ‘gamified rewards program’

BigDoor execs Keith Smith, Matt Shobe and Jeff Malek at the company's offices in the South Lake Union neighborhood

There’s so much content clutter on the Web these days that it can be tough for online publishers to keep their readers or viewers engaged, coming back each day for more. BigDoor, the Seattle upstart led by Keith Smith, Matt Shobe and Jeff Malek, believes it has the solution to that problem.

And the 29-person upstart just reeled in another $5 million in venture capital funding from Foundry Group, Founder’s Co-op and others, bringing total funding in the 3-year-old company to $13 million.

BigDoor's badge system used on MLB.com

“The additional funds will be used to continue our focus on building a great product that helps publishers realize big improvements in user loyalty and engagement,” Smith tells GeekWire. “We are heavily weighted toward product development and less so on sales and marketing folks. We will continue our tech bias, but will also invest in sales and marketing as needed in the coming quarters.”

The company today is rolling out a new “gamified rewards program,” one that Smith said allows publishers to easily create their own system to reward readers or visitors. In early tests with about 25 customers, Smith said the results “were off the charts” with an average lift of 153 percent in user loyalty and 672 percent in engagement.

Big Door customers include MLB.com, Dell, Nickelodeon and Wetpaint as well as music artists Big K.R.I.T and 2 Chainz. Big Door faces competition from the likes of Silicon Valley’s Bunchball — which raised $6.5 million last year — and Badgeville — which raised $12 million from Norwest Venture Partners, El Dorado Ventures, Trinity Ventures and others last summer.

Previously on GeekWireSeattle gamification startup BigDoor buys OneTrueFan

  • Fortunato Vega

    Way to go Keith!

  • Skeptic

    Does Dell really think they will sell more computers if they have a game on their web site?

    • http://twitter.com/ChiefDoorman Keith Smith

      We always like a skeptic, but I think you may be missing the point.

      Our “gamified rewards program” isn’t about adding games to sites, but is more like a fun and engaging frequent flyer program.  If a site is using BigDoor their users can earn rewards for things like; visiting the site daily, posting (good) comments, uploading content, watching videos, Like’ing & sharing content, referring friends, purchasing, or any other high value action on your site.  These points are uncovered and earned in a “gamified” way that makes the whole experience more interesting and engaging for users, and the rewards help to create loyalty and lock-in.  

      But most importantly, it works.  We are practically religious about measurement and analytics.  We have built cohort analysis into our platform so our partners can easily compare performance between a randomly selected control group and the users who are part of the rewards program.  The lift is measurable, consistent and significant (three of my favorite things).

      Hope that helps add a bit of clarity.