Mobile

Loopt hires mobile veteran to reclaim the location crown

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Loopt, an early leader in location-based social services, just announced that mobile industry veteran Steve Boom (pictured left) is joining the company as its first president. Boom will lead the Mountain View, Calif. startup with cofounder Sam Altman (pictured right), who continues to serve as chief executive.

Check-in services like Gowalla and especially Foursquare have stolen some of Loopt’s early buzz, and the location market is getting even more competitive with Facebook launching its own service, Places. But the company is still growing, having recently passed the 4 million user mark. Loopt uses a hybrid location model, where users can manually check-in but also continuously share their location with their friends while the app runs in the background.

Boom was a senior vice president at Yahoo, where he led the company’s mobile efforts. More recently, he served as the CEO at popular mobile chat company Mig33, though he recently stepped back from that role and is now serving as executive chairman, a position he will continue to hold after joining Loopt.

“There’s no question that this is the hottest space in mobile and is heading into the mainstream,” Boom said in a press release. “The timing is perfect to transform Loopt’s early leadership into a truly remarkable company.”

Loopt has raised a total of $17 million from Sequoia Capital and New Enterprise Associates. It was incubated by Y Combinator.