SessionM makes any app into a pointless effort to gain points, gets $20M second round

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Advertising and customer-engagement company SessionM has raised $20 million in second-round funding to help turn any mobile application into a user retention game.

SessionM provides tools for advertisers and app publishers to add a splash of gamification to any application. Customers can get points and earn achievements, called mPoints, which can be redeemed for specialty merchandise, gift cards, and contest entries. Advertisers can offer additional points or achievements through video ads or short games.

The thought process behind this method of advertising and customer engagement is similar to what has made Zygna so successful. Likewise, Foursquare is built on a similar principle and people can’t seem to get enough of earning points to shoot to the top of their leader boards.

SessionM exploits the allure of game play and allows anyone to add game-like tactics to their app with an HTML 5 overlay.  Other companies in this space, such as CosmiCube, build custom gamified apps, while SessionM works with the app’s existing code. The company boasts partnerships with big name companies McDonalds, Honda, and Livestrong.

Charles River Ventures led the funding round, with participation from Highland Capital Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. The company will use the money to scout out new team members and expand its technology.

SessionM is based in Boston, Mass. Last May the company received a $6.5 million investment, making SessionM’s total funding $26.5 million.

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