SCVNGR CEO Seth Priebatsch projects that the young location-based startup will hit one million members by year’s end. That aggressive prediction is based in part around today’s news: SCVNGR has gone international and just went live in more than 70 countries.
SCVNGR is leveraging the Google Places database to power the international expansion of its newly improved iPhone and Android apps. The startup is the first to publicly launch with the Google Places API, which is currently limited to select parties as a developer preview.
The default SCVNGR interface for international users will be in English, but application users can add content and create custom challenges in their native languages.
The decision to piggyback on Google’s comprehensive place database was a necessary one, especially considering the startup does not have its own proprietary database for places — like Foursquare, for instance. It has, instead, been using Twitter-owned GeoAPI for U.S. place data. SCVNGR will solely use the Google Places API moving forward.
SCVNGR’s success stateside can be attributed to a number of developments like deep Facebook Places integration, but enterprise partnerships and retailer rewards have also been key factors contributing to growth. Internationally, SCVNGR may be a bit of a underdog in the location space. Priebatsch admits that the company has yet to forge relationships with international retailers around rewards, but does say that one partnership with a London brand is in the works.
Prior to today, SCVNGR was available in the U.S. only. Despite this obvious limitation, the startup has still managed to attract more than 500,000 members in just a few months time.
Reviews: Android, Foursquare, Google
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