Boston-based location check-in game SCVNGR has a lot of overlap with Foursquare, but SCVNGR’s main feature is the ability to create treasure hunts. Founder Seth Priebatsch, subject of this great New York Times piece from last year on entrepreneurs and hypomania, started the company to build “a game layer on top of the world.”
SCVNGR and foursquare are similar enough that it’s not clear yet whether the smartphone world has room enough for the both of them. Users checking in on SCVNGR often have to complete tasks at each check-in point, such as uploading a photo. The startup also introduced check-in discounts in March. This reporter has seen exactly one person use SCVNGR, because Foursquare was “boring now” and mayorships had become too competitive.
But somebody up there likes the Boston underdog. SCVNGR raised $15 million at a $100 million evaluation in January, and now BostInnovation is reporting that Facebook tried to buy the company for its Places and Deals platform and the proposed price was between $60 and $80 million. It wouldn’t surprise us if Facebook had made a similar offer to foursquare.