US location-based gaming firm Scvngr has raised US$15 million in an investment round that was led by UK venture firm Balderton Capital. Scvngr is a check-in service along the lines of Foursquare, but which puts greater emphasis on the gaming element. The service sets challenges for users when they check-in at certain locations, for instance a local restaurant or bar. Challenges are developed with advertisers who also supply prizes for the winners of each challenge. The firm currently works with major brands such as Coca Cola and American Eagle, as well as local businesses.
CEO Seth Priebatsch says the firm will use its new backing to grow in markets outside the US including Europe, says Techcrunch. A desire for foreign expansion was one of the reasons behind the selection of a non-US venture firm. Some of the money will also be used to research what elements of gaming translate well in the physical world to build on the firm’s existing service. Scvngr is available as both Android and iPhone apps. According to a report in the Guardian, Scvngr has so far signed up 1,000 paying clients. In terms of total user base, the firm claims to “have built half a million users in 20 weeks and is aiming for 1 million by the end of January”, says the report.
Existing investors Google Ventures and Highland Capital Partners also participated in the current round. A previous round in December 2009 raised more than USS$4 million. According to TechCrunch, the latest investment means the gaming firm is valued at “just over US$100 million”.