The two Swedish men behind the social mobile application Skout, Christian Wiklund and Niklas Lindstrom, current Skout CEO and CTO respectively, are busy being businessmen in the toughest digi- and tech-startup hotspot of Silicon Valley. Just recently they acquired Nixter, a nightlife application that has its origins in Chile, but which currently operates in the coastal US metropoles of Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.
The deal means the two social apps will now work together to better compete in tough US social app markets. In what ways exactly will the two integrate their services is still unknown. It has been disclosed that Nixter will be kept as a separate app but the bigger of the two will likely assimilate the other to some extent.
Though Skout initially started as a FourSquare type check in app in 2007, they re-launched in 2009 at the DEMO conference as a location-based dating app. In the course of the years Skout eventually shifted towards less intimate interaction and took its current form as a social mobile app which allows people to get connected and create new friendships online.
The change worked and now the company is certainly doing well. In addition to being one the largest flirting apps in the US, with over 5 millions users reported in 2011, Skout closed a $22 million fund two years ago, lead by California-based VC firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Skout’s monetization strategy is somewhat different from other flirting/dating apps which rely heavily on advertisements. Most of Skout’s income is generated from in-app purchases. For example, users can buy credits within the app with which they can buy gifts for other users, or see who’s checking out their profile.
Safety has become dear to Skout, who actively dedicates effort to delete inappropriate images and the app has a policy of not disclosing the exact locations of other users in order to avoid stalking.