CAMBRIDGE, MA and PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - March 10, 2011) - level-up [lev´el-uhp] (v.) -- To jump from one status to a higher one. To improve an attribute. Often used to describe positive progressions in a game or game-like setting.
We warned you that SCVNGR is kind of a weird company.
Our last big move (expanding from enterprise-only to enterprise + consumer) is working out pretty well...
More than 1,000,000 players are playing, more than 1,500 enterprises are building challenges (including massive brands like Coca-Cola, Buffalo Wild Wings & GameStop), and our backers are... well... backing. $15MM in freshly minted capital sure is a nice way to kick off the New Year.
But as we've been building the game layer on top of the world, we've noticed something (opportunity alert!) -- the location-based space (LBS) and the local deals space are on a head-on collision course.
When you break it down, it makes a lot of sense. Local deals drive new customer acquisition and LBS has always been about engaging with places and driving loyalty. Two halves of the same (very, very, very large) coin.
But so far nothing has been able to do both. Daily deals get a lot of customers in the door but aren't so great at getting them to come back. LBS rocks the house at getting customers to engage and keep coming back, but is still operating at a small scale compared to, say, Groupon.
So we were banging this 7-gram rock one morning and thought, "Hey, how about we mash them up, throw some game dynamics into the mix and see what happens?"
LevelUp's goal is simple (if perhaps a tad ambitious): fix the "one and doner" problem in the daily deal space, using our unique mobile/social/gaming take on the world.
We're launching LevelUp as a pilot today in Boston and Philadelphia.
LevelUp is a brand new type of local deal... one that gets better as you use it.
Each "LevelUp" has 3 levels: good, better and best. But initially Levels 2 and 3 are locked (think "Angry Birds").
Consumers grab the Level 1 deal, then visit the business. After they visit, they'll "LevelUp" and unlock the next level (an even better deal or more exclusive experience at that business). Levels 2 and 3 are inviting consumers to come back for an opportunity to try something new, bring some friends or just have another great time.
Think of it as getting rewarded for becoming a regular at the places you love in your city. And for businesses, it's #LoyaltyWinning!
"LevelUp is a new type of location-based interaction. It combines the best parts of the check-in, the challenge, and the reward into one bite-sized unit," said Seth Priebatsch, Chief Ninja at SCVNGR and mastermind of LevelUp. "The daily deal space has created some serious SMB ADD. Anyone with an e-mail list can get customers in the door. The goal of this pilot is to prove that LevelUp can do what nothing else can... get those new customers to keep coming back."
Here are more details:
Today, LevelUp is kicking it all off in Boston with a deal from "inspired burrito" haven Boloco and in Philadelphia with a deal from "home to America's craziest burgers" PYT.
Or businesses -- watch our sweet video at http://TheLevelUp.com/Merchants to learn more about how LevelUp can get you not just a ton of new customers, but a ton of regulars. If you're interested in working with us, you can contact us from there.
LevelUp is a better way for local businesses and consumers to connect. Consumers, try out a ton of awesome places with a great deal and then go back to the places you love with an even better deal or more exclusive experience. Merchants, get introduced to a large local community of people who not only visit your business, but are actively invited to keep coming back and "level-up" to become regulars... the best type of customers.
With 20MM in funding from Google Ventures, Highland Capital Partners and Balderton Capital, LevelUp is based in Boston, MA with permanent satellite offices in each of the communities they serve. LevelUp is founded by the same folks who brought you SCVNGR and you can learn more about them at http://TheLevelUp.com.
LaunchSquad for LevelUp
Mike Farber or Emilie Cole
levelup [at] launchsquad [dot] com
Boston office: 617-945-1915 or 617-872-0769
San Francisco office: 415-625-8555 or 717-448-1821