Update: After several comments from our readers and follow up with Loopt, it appears that the location-based check in application is preloaded on several smartphones, including the LG Optimus M and Huawei Ascend on MetroPCS (both Android) and also its BlackBerry Curve 8530.
Scvngr, the maker of a check-in app that asks users to complete activity challenges, today announced that it will now come preloaded on the LG Optimus V, the newest prepaid smartphone from Virgin Mobile USA (which is owned by Sprint).
While there’s no exclusivity with Virgin Mobile, the partnership marks the first time a location-based service will be preloaded on a smartphone. Foursquare cofounder Naveen Selvadurai alluded to a preloaded deal with Nokia back in September 2010, but it turned out the plans were to just include it in Nokia’s Ovi Store, according to Business Insider.
Scvngr differentiates itself from other check in services by adding activities and challenges to the mix. For the consumer, this may promote continued usage and battle check in fatigue – the realization that the check in experience ends with just sharing your location to friends. Challenges may include group check ins or completing a task at a particular store to earn a discount or coupon.
Founder and chief executive Seth Priebatsch told me that working with a major mobile carrier, like Virgin Mobile, has been part of the company’s roadmap, and it wants tow ork with major brands, as it did in an earlier partnership with major beverage distributor Coca-Cola.
While I couldn’t find a much research on whether having a preloaded app helps usage, a survey from market strategy firm iGR concluded that consumers do in fact like preloaded apps as it helps them explore and try new apps. More interestingly, the survey showed that a preloaded app can potentially generate 9.4 times the revenue for the operator as opposed to just offering it in the app store.
The Boston-based company, founded in 2008, previously raised a second round of funding of $15 million as well as a first round of $4 million, bringing the total funding to around $20 million.