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Location-Based 'Game' App Scvngr Raises $15 Million

Scvngr, a smartphone-based mobile location app that claims to put a bigger emphasis on "gaming" than similar services, has raised $15 million in venture funding, its third round thus far.
Scvngr, a smartphone-based mobile location app that claims to put a bigger emphasis on "gaming" than similar services, has raised $15 million in venture funding, its third round thus far. New investor Balderton Capital joins previous backers Google Ventures and Highland Capital; according to a PaidContent report, Balderton's support seems poised to help grow the app in Europe. Scvngr is similar to apps like Foursquare and Gowalla in that it asks players to "check in" using their phone when they arrive at locations. But following the burgeoning "gamification" trend, Scvngr hopes to make the check-in process more playful, asking users to complete certain tasks and earn rewards at the different locations they visit, such as to high-five people they encounter in a mall drinking Coca-Cola. Unsurprisingly, it's brand partnerships that are at the heart of the app's potential; the points users earn can be redeemed for rewards at Scavngr's partners, which presently include not only Coke, but American Eagle Outfitters, Nissan, the New York Times, and the band Weezer. Balderton says the app has 1,000 paying clients, after it spent 2010 building its business and beginning to reach out to consumers: "They did $1 million revenue in 2009 when Scvngr was still a text-based game," said the firm. "They launched on the iPhone and Android in May 2010 and have been making multiples of that number." "It took Foursquare 18 months to get to 500,000 users a -- it took Scvngr 20 weeks. It will have one million by the end of January."

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