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Earlier today we announced that Safeguard Scientifics added two new technology partner companies to its portfolio: Crimson Informatics and Hoopla Software.

Big data, mobile, cloud computing, and gamification continue to drive capital deployment opportunities in large growing markets, and these two innovative companies have rapidly established credibility with their respective technologies and have begun creating traction with large-scale customers. Both companies offer next-generation solutions and illuminate two key trends that continue to drive innovation: big data and gamification.

Crimson Informatics, Inc. is revolutionizing the usage-based auto insurance (UBI) market with a data capture device and user-friendly website (www.mydriveiq.com) that gathers data on driving habits. In addition, Crimson provides a more predictive and financially attractive set of statistics for insurance companies. Crimson raised a $1.8 million Series A-1 round of financing, which Safeguard deployed $1.7 million. Proceeds will be used to expand Crimson’s platform and bolster sales and marketing.

Wrapping your head around big data can be a struggle. Terabytes and terabytes of data are generated every day and businesses have to figure out how they can consolidate and use that information. Devices that help capture that data and provide control over what we see and how we use it will allow both consumers and companies to manage the data more efficiently and for greater value. When those devices are mobile, that control over the data stretches even further.

Hoopla Software, Inc. has designed a platform leverages enterprise data, advanced game mechanics and sophisticated communication tools to cultivate a high performance culture and drive results. Hoopla has raised approximately $2.3 million in its Series A round of financing, of which Safeguard deployed $1.3 million. Proceeds will be used to continue to build out Hoopla’s platform and to bolster sales and marketing.

Gamification has caught the attention of some of the biggest brands, from Coke to Viacom, and for good reason. Good behavior has always been rewarded, and by leveraging people’s natural inclination to seek rewards and to be competitive, gamification processes are emerging as an effective management strategy. According to Gartner, it is expected that 50 percent of organizations managing innovation processes will gamify those processes by 2015, and direct spending on these processes is expected to total $2.8 billion.

As the new year approaches, we expect big data, the Internet of Things, cloud computing, gamification, social media and mobile technology will continue to drive compelling innovations from entrepreneurs, and in turn, intriguing capital deployment opportunities for Safeguard Scientifics.