Skout

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SKOUT
Private
Industry Software development
Founded (2007 (2007))
Founder
  • Christian Wiklund
  • Niklas Lindstrom
Headquarters San Francisco, United States
Key people
  • Christian Wiklund, (CEO)
  • Niklas Lindstrom, (CTO)
Products
  • SKOUT
  • Fuse
  • Nixter
Website skout.com

SKOUT is the developer of a location-based social networking and dating application and website. SKOUT was one of the first dating and mobile people discovery applications to emphasize generalized user location.[1] SKOUT is available on both iOS and Android operating systems. Other SKOUT properties include Nixter, a nightlife app,[2] and Fuse, an ephemeral group messaging app.[3] SKOUT reported that over 500 million connections were made using its app in 2013.[4]

SKOUT uses a cellphone's global positioning system to help users to find other users within a general radius of one another.[5] SKOUT does not identify a user's precise location, and users can choose to opt out of the location-tracking features of the app.[6] GPS location is only enabled in the adult community. While searching for people, users can view the profile and recent activities of others that they find interesting.[1] The application also allows users to instant message or send virtual gifts to one another.[7] The company segregates its adult and teen communities.[8] SKOUT is available in 180 countries and 16 languages.[4]

History[edit]

The service was founded as a mobile web social network in 2007 by Christian Wiklund and Niklas Lindstrom.[9] The two, Skout's chief executive officer and chief technology officer respectively, relaunched the network in 2009 as a dating and people discovery application and website after recognizing over 80% of the site's users were using it as a dating platform.[7] SKOUT launched its iOS application in February 2009 at the 2009 DEMO conference.[10] At the time, SKOUT was available for users on non-iOS mobile internet devices through its website.[7] Skout's Android app launched in August 2010.[11]

SKOUT raised $22 million in venture capital from Andreessen Horowitz in April 2012.[9] Prior to this investment, SKOUT had raised a collective $4.6 million in angel investment.[9] In June 2012, SKOUT suspended its service for minors, after three separate incidents in which minors were allegedly raped by adults posing as teenagers.[12][13] It later resumed its services for teenagers in July 2012 with after introducing additional safety measures.[14]

SKOUT announced a travel feature that allows users to meet people in another city while traveling in 2013.[15] SKOUT Travel is a premium paid feature.[15] Another feature available on SKOUT is "Shake to Chat."[16] Shake to Chat connects users to others who are shaking their phones at the same time.[16] User profiles are anonymous for 40 seconds after the Shake to Chat conversation begins.[17] In 2015, SKOUT launched Interested? - it uses the ‘Meet People’ search settings and instantly matches Skouters who share similar interests. SKOUT extended its services from 14 languages to 16 languages including Malay and Vietnamese in 2016.[18][19]

In May 2014, the company acquired, Nixter, a nightlife app which allows users to find nightlife events, buy tickets, and see guest lists for events in New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.[2] SKOUT launched Fuse, an app that gives users tools to construct their own social network that functions off the address book on their smartphone or tablet, in June 2014.[20] In 2015, SKOUT announced that it had reached more than 10 million members.[21]

Funding[edit]

SKOUT has received $22 million in investment from Andreessen Horowitz and has been funded by early-stage investors including Janice Brandt, former vice chair of AOL; Jarl Mohn, founding president and CEO of Liberty Digital; and Hans Akerblom, founder and chair of Scandinavian Leadership AB.[9] The board of directors includes, in addition to the founders, Stan Chudvosky, Scott Weiss, Herbert Madan and Board Observer Marc Andresseen. SKOUT reported that it became profitable in December 2013.[4][22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b JP Manninen (2 July 2010). "One million singles sign up for Skout dating app". VentureBeat. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Kim-Mai Cutler (5 May 2014). "Mobile Social Networking App Skout Acquires Nightlife App Nixter". TechCrunch. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Kim-Mai Cutler (19 June 2014). "Skout Launches Fuse, An Ephemeral Messaging App That Makes Group Chats Explode". TechCrunch. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Dylan Tweney (2 May 2014). "These nerds want to put your bored ass in a hot nightclub". VentureBeat. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Rosenbloom, Stephanie (21 July 2010). "The New Dating Tools: A Card and a Wink". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ Robin Wauters (3 April 2012). "Location-based flirting app Skout hooks up with Andreessen Horowitz, scores $22 million". The Next Web. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c MG Siegler (21 January 2009). "Skout brings location-based dating to the iPhone". VentureBeat. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Jessica Guynn (12 July 2012). "Skout CEO Christian Wiklund: Mobile app to reopen safer for teens". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d Patrick Hoge (3 April 2012). "Skout finds a way through tough times". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  10. ^ DEMO 2009 Wraps Up. BusinessWeek (2009-03-04). Retrieved on 2013-07-30.
  11. ^ Emory Kale (2 August 2010). "GPS killer app: stalking, er, I mean flirting". TG Daily. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  12. ^ "Skout dating app suspends teen service after rape allegations". BBC. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "Skout dating app suspends service for teens amid rape allegations". Los Angeles Times. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "Blog update". 
  15. ^ a b Kim-Mai Cutler (6 September 2013). "With 3X The Active Users From A Year Ago, Skout Launches A Feature For Traveling Vagabonds". TechCrunch. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Ellen Lee (25 March 2013). "Skout introduces people via smartphone". SFGate. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "Shake to Chat in iOS update – 3.2". The Skout Blog. 31 October 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  18. ^ "AsiaNet - View Release". www.asianetnews.net. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 
  19. ^ "SKOUT's Rapid Growth in Malaysia Prompts the Company to Offer the App in Malay-PR Newswire Asia-Newswire". en.prnasia.com. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 
  20. ^ Richard Bern Reilly, Venture Beat."/ Skout launches Fuse, a funky mobile network for people on the go."June 19, 2014. Retrieved June 19, 2104.
  21. ^ "An App That Connects Travelers With Locals". The New York Times. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  22. ^ "Skout reaps rewards of connecting people". Upstart Business Journal. 28 June 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 

External links[edit]