SCVNGR, a location-based gaming start-up, has announced it has raised $15 million based on a $100 million valuation. The funding from European venture capital firm Balderton Capital includes support from previous investors Google Ventures and Highland Capital Partners and brings SCVNGR’s total to $20 million.
Can a game really be the killer app that brings converts and revenue for location based services or is that a 22-year-old’s pipe dream? Seth Priebatsch, the founder and “Chief Ninja” at SCVNGR said it’s why his startup is on pace to hit 1 million users.
SCVNGR, a location-based gaming service, has tallied 500,000 users since rolling out consumer apps in May. Now the service is relaunching its iPhone and Android apps, with improvements aimed at heightening the game play and social aspects of its service.
Social gaming is in play today. Japanese social games publisher DeNA paid $400 million for mobile games studio Ngmoco, that reportedly already has some Google money invested in it. Zynga sold $6 million in stock, which might indicate what it paid for Bonfire Studios. Behind the scenes, location-based game maker SCVNGR took a small step towards Facebook-like Pages with its profile pages for marketers, and Kontagent, which aims its analytics tools on social gaming, rolled out an upgrade. While the M&A activity might sound like consolidation, the fact a tools company can seemingly make a living selling into studios suggests there’s still a lot of fragmentation – and opportunity – out there.
The startup SCVNGR is getting one step closer to creating a game layer on top of the world. Tonight it is releasing applications for iPhone and Android that allow users to build geo-targeted challenges for each other to play, just as its customers already do.