Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Booyah CEO Keith Lee Talks About Social Gaming, Moolah and More (With Accel's Jim Breyer as Sidekick)!

Earlier this week, BoomTown motored on down to the HQ of Booyah in downtown Palo Alto, Calif., for a chat with its CEO and co-founder, Keith Lee.

Also there: Jim Breyer, the Accel Partners moneybags who recently joined the board of the mobile social gaming start-up, forking over $20 million in new funding for the privilege.

Best known for its MyTown iPhone app, now with upward of two million users, Booyah is made up of a team of gaming industry veterans, especially from Blizzard Entertainment, which is now part of Activision Blizzard (ATVI).

Started in 2008, the company had previously raised $9 million in venture funding, mostly from the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers $100 million iFund, as well as from DAG Ventures.

MyTown, which is about to come out with a new version, is one of the most popular and innovative location-based social games on Apple (AAPL) mobile devices.

That compares with other social check-in services, such as Foursquare (just over one million users) and Gowalla (250,000).

MyTown is slightly different from these services, though, focusing on gaming in its check-ins and virtual goods versus emphasis on a discovery element.

Lee and Breyer talk about all this and more in the video of my interview, which includes a short tour of Booyah’s Silicon Valley HQ (it is soon moving to San Francisco):

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald