Google-backed startup takes location game global

By Tarmo Virki, European Technology Correspondent

HELSINKI, Nov 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Google-backed (GOOG.O: ) mobile
social gaming startup SCVNGR unveiled a global push on Tuesday,
adding locations around the world to its so far United States
focused offering.

Since its May launch in the United States, the service,
which links elements of gaming and location-based services, has
gathered more than half a million users — growing at faster
speed than most rivals in the sector.

On Tuesday it said it had added global locations from
Google’s Places database to its service.

“Our goal has always been to build the game layer on top of
the world. But until today, we were missing a critical component
… the rest of the world,” said Seth Priebatsch, SCVNGR’s
chief.

Location services like Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt, which
allow consumers to use their cell phones to keep track of their
friends’ whereabouts and earn rewards for frequenting
brick-and-mortar businesses, have caught on among technology
aficionados.

In addition to checking in at different locations, users of
SCVNGR, pronounced ‘scavenger’, can play games and create
challenges related to the places for each other.

Priebatsch said the company was set to seek additional
funding to finance the expansion as the firm aims to build
business relations locally with partners like telecom carriers.

“That’s really exciting, and very expensive,” he said.

“SCVNGR’s rapid growth means investors are always knocking
at our door. And at some point, with them pounding this hard,
it’ll make sense for us to answer.”

The company has so far raised around $5 million from Google
and Highland Capital after the initial $35,000 from seed
investor DreamIT.

Google-backed startup takes location game global