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Location game dev SCVNGR lands $15m investment

Google, Balderton funding marketing-backed Foursquare rival

Mobile location game startup SCVNGR has confirmed $15 million in new investment, from Balderton, Google Ventures and Highland Capital.

The Boston firm had already attracted $4.75 million in prior funding over the last two years, much of it from Google Ventures.

SCVNGR works along similar lines to Foursquare, but brings in real-work marketing and rewards thanks to partnerships such as Coca Cola, Nissan and the New York Times.

The game boasts over 1000 clients so far, and claims to be on course to reach 1 million users this month, having reached 550,000 during its first 20 weeks. This apparently exceeds Foursquare's adoption rate.

The Google partnership had previously enabled SCVNGR to access non-US location data thanks to the Google Places API; it is unknown whether the new round of funding will increase such ties. However, Balderton founder Barry Maloney has joined the SCVNGR board as part of the deal.

The firm, led by 22 year old CEO Seth Priebastsch, is now looking to Europe for its next phase of growth. Its current revenues, based primarily on iPhone and Android apps, are unknown, but it turned over $1 million from its original SMS-based form in 2009.

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Alec Meer: A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.
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