Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

SCVNGR's Seth Priebatsch Talks About Geolocation Wars, Facebook Places and More!

Last week, SCVNGR integrated its third-party social geolocation game service into the Facebook Places mega-location offering.

As it turned out, BoomTown was in Beantown–as in Boston–for a lovely wedding, so I took some prenuptial time to visit SCVNGR’s HQ in Cambridge, Mass., to talk to its founder, Seth Priebatsch.

In the launch last week, SCVNGR was one of a series of start-ups in the geolocation arena–such as Foursquare and Gowalla–that announced their cooperation with the giant social networking site’s effort to include their services into the offering using its social graph APIs.

SCVNGR’s take in the geolocation race is to allow users to do check-ins, complete challenges and earn points for rewards on mobile devices such as Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone and Google (GOOG) Android devices.

The idea came from an entrepreneur competition the high-energy Priebasch won as a freshman at Princeton University, which he left soon after to found SCVNGR.

It has raised about $5 million in funding from venture outfits such as Highland Capital Partners and Google Ventures–an investment that only adds to the irony here, since the search giant itself is about to launch a new social service to compete with Facebook.

Here is the video interview with Priebatsch, as well as a tour of SCVNGR’s HQ, in which we talk all about this and also how he hopes to differentiate his service from the pack:

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik