Mobile

Scvngr finds 1 million users willing to complete location challenges

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Scvngr, the maker of a check-in app that asks users to complete activity challenges, is defying the conventional wisdom that services which broadcast one’s location to friends aren’t ready for the mainstream. Just yesterday, the app has reached 1 million users, founder and chief executive Seth Priebatsch tells VentureBeat, and added nearly 10,000 new users since then.

If it sustains that pace, Scvngr could quadruple its user base in a year.

Recent studies have suggested that some users of check-in services drop out after a period of experimentation, a phenomenon known as “check-in fatigue.” Scvngr differentiates itself from other location services by adding activities and challenges to the mix. The idea is that this added layer may counter users’ ennui with just sharing their location with friends.

Scvngr may be benefitting, too, from larger services that are popularizing the idea of the check-in. Facebook doesn’t give out user numbers, but notes that its Places check-in feature is available to more than 150 million mobile users. And popular app Foursquare has almost reached 7 million registered users to date. That company reached its own millionth-user milestone almost a year ago in April 2010.

These services are finding a bunch of ways to add users, including most recently getting themselves preloaded on smartphones. Foursquare partnered with Japanese telecommunications company KDDI to give users a shortcut for downloading the mobile application on several of its Android smartphones. Scvngr also announced that its app will appear on Virgin Mobile’s new pre-paid Android device. Loopt, another location service, is also available on several MetroPCS smartphones, including the LG Optimus M, Huawei Ascend and BlackBerry Curve 8530. Loopt, an early location app, got a big boost through a deal with Sprint, the wireless carrier.

Boston-based Scvngr, 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.

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