Proud Princeton drop-out and imminent mega billionaire, Seth Priebatsch is the self-styled Chief Ninja of the gaming/payments platform SCVNGR. Having raised $20 million and now employing 120 people, Priebatsch believes that the SCVNGR market could easily exceed $50 billion, a number he regards as “small”.
I’m not sure what to make of Priebatsch. The cynic in me (not hard to find) sees him and his company as a symbol of the hubris that has taken over the Valley. After all, how seriously can we take a 22 year-old kid in orange sunglasses who believes that he can “flip” the entire credit card industry by establishing what he calls an “interchange zero” business model for financial transactions? And yet wise old VCs like Highland General Partner Peter Bell have invested in Priebatsch and SCVNGR, so there is clearly something real about him and his idea for revolutionizing the credit card industry.
“Insanely effective,” is how Priebatsch describes the SCVNGR business model to me. Perhaps. I worry, however, that he might, in fact, be a victim of an insanely exuberant economy which invests silly amounts of money in semi-adolescent entrepreneurs with $50+ billion ideas.
Seth Priebatsch was born in Boston, MA. At the age of 12, he founded his first web start-up. It failed gloriously, achieving profits several times those of Twitter. After completing his freshman year at Princeton (the official requirement to achieve the term dropout), Seth took a “leave-of-absence” to pursue SCVNGR, a geo-gaming technology platform which has 20 employees and powers interactive mobile experiences for hundreds of institutions in 46 states and 3 countries. As Chief Ninja of SCVNGR, Seth...
SCVNGR is part game, part game platform. Playing SCVNGR is all about going places, doing challenges and earning points. Players discover cool new places, find fun new things to do, share their activity with friends and can even earn virtual (and sometimes real-world) rewards! Individuals and institutions can build on SCVNGR by adding custom challenges at their favorite places! Start playing SCVNGR now at http://www.scvngr.com.