Plano-based RedCritter raises seed round of $750,000 to expand its gamification software

via Sheryl Jean @SherylJeanDMN, Dallasnews.com

In the uber-popular Angry Birds game, players must devise strategies to not only get rid of the pigs but to score high points and progress to the next level.

Plano-based software developer RedCritter Corp. applies the same gaming technology to business processes.

It’s called gamification — and it’s one of the hottest segments of technology today.

RedCritter just raised $750,000 from a local angel investor to expand its gamification development.

In August, RedCritter released its first product using gamification. RedCritter Tracker is project management software that uses game techniques, such as badges and points, to reward users for completing project tasks.

RedCritter Tracker 2011

Mike Beaty and his wife, Erika Lambert, founded RedCritter in early 2010. Beaty and Lambert self-funded the company until this angel round. Beaty previously founded Eon Mobility, which created a social mobile platform, and Xfactory, which developed supply chain management software.

The first product, RedCritter for Outlook, launched in August, linking Microsoft Outlook email contacts to apps such as Twitter and LinkedIn. RedCritter Guide lets users create interactive guided tours of their websites.

“We’re focused on gamification going forward,” said Billy Rodgers, chief revenue officer of RedCritter. “Gamification first focused on consumer sites, but now it’s turning to internal business processes — how to increase productivity, engagement, performance and retention of staff.”

Retailers and brands, such as General MillsPanera Bread and Samsung, have embraced gamification as a way to engage consumers or motivate employees with rewards.

The trend stems from gaming’s popularity: 72 percent of U.S. households played computer or video games last year, according to the Entertainment Software Association.

RedCritter plans to use its angel capital to develop new products and for marketing, Rodgers said. The company plans to launch four to five more business products — all using gamification — with the next one debuting by the end of the year, he said.

The company doesn’t disclose revenue, but Rodgers said it became cash-flow positive in February.

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