Augmented reality game Snatch has raised £4.4 million in seed funding from several investors.
The startup, established by British co-founders Joe Martin and Jamal Hirani attracted the backing from First Minute Capital, CrunchFund, Simon Equity Partners, Cassius Family Fund, Hanson Asset Management, Velocity Technology Fund and Silicon Valley Bank.
The free to download and play virtual treasure hunt app will use the injection of cash to grow the app and create game-changing products in the UK as well as start planning towards a global expansion, with a USA launch on the horizon.
Similar to the mega-hit game Pokemon Go, which saw hoards of users roaming parks and piers seeking elusive Pokemons last year, the Snatch app creates an immersive treasure hunt on the user's smartphone linked to the world around them but offers real-world prizes that can also be snatched by other users.
The app allows users to win up to £50 million worth of prizes from some of the world's biggest brands such as Samsung, Heineken, Virgin Wines, Deliveroo, Gousto, Missguided and Boohoo. Potential rewards range from hard cash, products, gig tickets, holidays and even experiences.
“So far to date, we’ve given away £300k in hard cash. In terms of other prizes, we’ve given away prizes to the value of £10m — ranging from NOW TV passes, physical products such as games consoles, iPhones, Amazon Vouchers, and a House Deposit worth £15,000. These prizes have been distributed over the past eight months during our beta and over a million prize parcels won,” Snatch co-founder Jamal Hirani claims in an interview with Tech Crunch.
With virtual treasure hunt, Snatch combines brand marketing with augmented reality. Now out of its Beta stage, the app attracted over 500,000 downloads during the nine-month beta period and says active daily users were within the 40,000 to 60,000 range.
The app managed downloads of ~550,000 over the at this time. It also claims players averaged 1hr 33mins per day in the app across 12 sessions of gameplay.
The augmented reality game works by using a player’s smartphone location paired with augmented reality to transform their surroundings into an interactive playground where players competed to find or steal virtual parcels.
Users can open and redeem a real-life prize if they successfully keep and defend a parcel for six hours.
The company has offices in London and San Francisco and has previously received funding from UnileverVentures, the venture capital and private equity arm of Unilever.