Careers at Skout
Skout develops and manages a location-based social networking and dating app. It aims to provide a platform for people to make new connections based on location and shared interests.
Skout was founded in 2007 by software engineers Christian Wiklund (“Wiklund”) and Niklas Lindstrom (“Lindstrom”). The Company was initially established with the aim of creating a community that would enable mobile device users to better communicate with existing friends and business contacts, and help them establish new connections with people nearby. Shortly after its establishment, Skout’s founders decided to focus its attention on location-based networking solutions, and began developing Skout in its current format.
Skout initially had difficulty gaining traction in a competitive market, with many other location-based apps launching at around the same time. For a number of years, the Company relied solely on the $4.6 million it had received in venture capital funding, meaning that it could retain only a small development team. In 2012, however, Skout received $22 million in Series A funding from Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm specialising in technology companies. This allowed Skout to expand its team by around 100 staff members and enabled the Company to establish Skout as one of the world’s most popular location-based applications. Shortly after this investment the Company announced that it was signing up as many as 50,000 users every day.
Logo © by Skout (Wikimedia Commons) under CC BY-SA 3.0
Benefits at Skout
Business model of Skout
Skout can be used in a variety of ways and thus attracts a range of users. The platform is widely used by singletons as a location-based dating app, as well as by tourists and travellers seeking to make connections when away from home and local members wishing to stay up to date with events in their area.
The app is also used by professional wishing to expand their business network locally and abroad.
In addition to its user base, Skout’s counts among its customers advertisers and agencies wishing to reach the Company’s audience with advertisements.
Skout offers a networking platform that is location-based, enabling users to meet new people with common interests that are close by either at home or abroad.
The applications full suite of tools and services are available at no cost, while paid-for services are available at a limited cost. Skout has fully customisable search and profile settings and privacy controls.
It also purports to be security conscious, managing separate platforms for adults and for teenagers. Skout has announced that it shuts down as many as 40,000 nuisance or anti-social accounts every month in a bid to maintain the community. The platform claims to have more than 10 million individual users, making the platform an attractive opportunity for advertisers.
The Skout platform can be accessed by users via the Company’s website at www.skout.com as well as via its iOS and Google Play apps. Advertisers and partners can interact directly with Skout representatives by contacting the Company’s sales and marketing team.
The Skout platform is entirely self-service. Users are able to register to the service through their existing Google or Facebook accounts, following which they can access the full range of tools and services included in the iOS and Google play apps.
Any additional paid-for services are also available as self-service products. As a networking app,
Skout relies largely on its community to generate to generate content. The community is supported by Skout via its online FAQs, contact forms and safety tips. Skout also interacts directly with its users via social networks Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and Vine, and keeps users up to date with changes and developments via its blog.
Advertisers and partners receive a more personalised services tailored to their individual needs and requirements.
Skout develops and maintains a location-based social networking and dating application. It manages a number of partnerships through which it organises events fro its users.
The Company also collaborates with advertising networks and agencies in providing general and location-dependent advertisements to Skout users.
Skout partners with a number of event organisers, tech companies and advertisers. The Company often organises social events with its partners to entertain its own users and promote the services of its partners.
In March 2016 Skout partnered with SF-Marin Food Bank to commemorate National Potato Chip Day by providing meals for 20,000 at-risk individuals. The Company has also partnered with technology company Riviera to put on a casino night for Skout users.
Skout’s key resources are its networking platform, its IT infrastructure, its personnel – notably its research and development teams – and its Community.
The Company also continues to rely in part on its financial backers while it the development of its user base and revenue streams are ongoing.
Skout’s server space and data centres are key, as are its software engineers and support workers who maintain the platform.
Skout’s most significant costs relate to the development and maintenance of its app, management of its IT infrastructure and its retention of personnel.
In addition to paying a research and development team to keep the sCompany’s software platform up to date, Skout must also pay for the rental and operation of server space and secure data centres, as well as for the rental of office space and utilities.
Skout operates under a freemium business model, offering a number of optional paid-for services and products. While the Skout app is available for free, it includes advertisements contributed by third parties, often using location tracking to provide personalised advertisements. Users can pay a small fee for an ad-free version of the app.
The Company also generates a significant amount of revenue through in-app purchases, with users able to exchange real money for in-app currency. This virtual currency can be used to boost user profiles, obtain more information on users that have viewed your profile, or send gifts to other users.
info: Christian has served as Skout’s Chief Executive Officer since the Company’s establishment in 2007. Prior to co-founding Skout, Wiklund held a variety of roles at technology companies, including management, engineering and analyst positions. He began his career as a project manager at Chalmers Teknologkonsulter in Sweden in 2004. A year later in 2005, he took on an engineering internship at cloud infrastructure developer VMware, where he was ultimately awarded a full-time role as a development process analyst later that same year. Wiklund held this role until 2006 but left the company to develop the Skout concept.
info: Niklas was named to the position of Chief Technology Officer at Skout in 2008, shortly after co-founding the Company. He is a software engineer by trade, having previously held several engineering roles within the tech sector. Lindstrom began his career as a software engineer in 2000, working for software company International Soft Devices Corporation. He was later promoted to senior software engineer before leaving the company to assume the same position at Metrotech Corporation in 2003. Lindstrom held this position for three years, until 2006 when he was appointed as a project manager in Metrotech’s Engineering Division. He left Metrotech in 2008 to co-found Skout.
info: Portia joined Skout as its Chief Financial Officer in 2011. According to her corporate networking profile, she stepped down from this role in February 2016. She, however, continues to be referenced as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer in media coverage. While Kersten has previously held a number of senior executive roles, the majority of which have been related to finance, she began her career as an engineer at Bechtel Civil Infrastructure in 1992. In 1999 she joined GE Equity as Assistant Vice President, a position she held until 2002 when she joined online media company PlanetOut as Vice President of Corporate Development and Finance. Prior to joining Skout, Kersten served in Chief Financial Officer roles at tech companies TeeBeeDee and Adinfuse from 2006 to 2008 and 2008 to 2010 respectively.
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