Back in August we wrote about a Y Combinator-funded company called Whereoscope that helps parents keep tabs on their kids using a location-aware smartphone application. Now we’re hearing that the startup is about to be acquired by a company that’s in an entirely different space: Zynga.
Our understanding is that a term sheet has been signed but the deal has not yet closed, so it’s not a sure thing yet. Both Whereoscope and Zynga declined to comment.
If it does close, we believe it will be for sub-$5 million, likely in valuable Zynga equity. Given the fact that Zynga isn’t exactly focused on child location monitoring, this is probably a talent acquisition. But it’s a quick and positive outcome for the founders, especially given that the app launched less than six months ago.
Whereoscope’s application provides a straightforward way for parents to keep tabs on their kids using a concept called geofencing. Here’s a description from our launch coverage:
During an initial setup process, you designate a handful of key locations, or geofences, that your children often visit — their school, home, a best friend’s house, etc. You can elect to receive a push notification whenever your child leaves or arrives at one of these areas. Your child doesn’t have to actually do anything to check in, so there’s nothing for them to forget. And, if your child were to “accidentally” disable the application, Whereoscope can send you a warning giving you a heads up.
It seems obvious that Zynga will eventually want to launch mobile games with location components, which the Whereoscope team would be well-suited for. And it isn’t hard to imagine a game that includes geofencing, where users are rewarded in-game for visiting certain venues in the real world.