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.