Using Gamfication Technology to Give Startups More Access to Capital

Startup TechWire Innovation Entrepreneurs Startups
by Phil Lloyd
Chief Marketing Officer, Snatch
Special to Startup TechWire

Let’s face it. It’s still tough for entrepreneurs to raise capital. In fact, statistics still show that raising capital is the number one challenge for any startup, even in this new digital age. According to a U.S. Bank study, a whopping 82% of businesses don’t succeed due to cash flow problems. However, with numerous financing tools now in the marketplace, there are more ways for business owners to access capital with key solutions like peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding.

But there is still a lot more work to be done.

That’s why innovative digital providers are now finding creative ways to help entrepreneurs avoid the stress of hunting down investors so they can get the capital they need quickly. One interesting tech innovator even allows entrepreneurs to engage in video gaming to win their first round of seed capital. That’s right…startups can actually lay aside their business plans and get off of their VC roadshows and simply snatch up a round of funding with a new app called Snatch.

Snatch has been in the making for over two years. Pokémon Go validated their initial concept of using augmented reality and geo-location technology to engage the environment around us (hat tip Niantic) but it only scraped the surface of what is possible in this new active mobile gaming world.

Snatch encourages players to choose prizes from brands they want to win from. It then opens a map of their close environment layered with virtual parcels that players can collect, using augmented reality. If they can protect the parcels they find from other players trying to snatch them away for six hours, the virtual parcels turn into real prizes for the winners. In fact, one of the parcels offered by Snatch from time to time is $50,000 in investment capital for gaming entrepreneurs, which is a nice chunk of change for any tech startup as well.

Startup TechWire 2017 Sponsorships Now AvailableMost recently, Snatch offered its $50K VC funding parcel at the 2017 SXSW show allowing entrepreneurs to simply engage in their virtual treasure hunt to gain access to capital. By adding gamification to VC funding, entrepreneurs were able to engage in a fun yet disruptive way for them to access capital without all of the birthing pains of going on roadshows and doing a million business pitches.

To date, Snatch’s $50K parcels have been backed by their VC partner Velocity Capital, a consumer technology fund founded by BMB Founder Bil Bungay that invests and nurtures technology businesses that are simple, scalable and have clearly defined consumer propositions.

But beyond the entrepreneurial support, Snatch offers numerous prizes to their general gaming audience as well. There are $15m worth of prizes to be won, with new rewards being added on a weekly basis from some of the world’s best brands. The game currently has 250,000 players, with the average player spending more than an hour in-game every day.  It has overtaken Pokémon Go in the App Store and now sits at number one in the adventure chart, as well as being in the top 20 for all apps and top 10 for all games.

While Snatch is ultimately a marketing platform for brands, the company is excited about the potential to continue to leverage their app to add value to other lines of business as well. Look for Snatch to officially launch in the U.S. in the early Summer of 2017.

Are you game?


Startup TechWire | Reporting on business, innovation, and education for America's vibrant startup community | David Menzies | 919-274-6862 | Writer and Public Relations Consultant | Editor |