With more than 40 years of experience in the development, funding and management of successful companies, Gerald Parker is an Internet visionary best known for co-founding Inktomi Corporation. He has played a key role in raising more than $400 million for a multitude of tech start-ups, and his entrepreneurial spirit has enabled him to spend the last four decades as a successful founder, partner and leader in various start-up ventures.
Gerald Parker co-founded Social Voucher in 2013, and he currently serves as the company’s CEO. Social Voucher is slated to release its first mobile application, Stocket, in 2016. Stocket is expected to be a disruptive app, as it combines mobile gaming and e-commerce.
We recently had a chance to sit down with Gerry, and ask him a few questions about Social Voucher and Stocket.
How did Social Voucher get it’s start?
GP: Social Voucher was born on the fundamental principle that the people have the power to socially distribute coupons and deals. The company got its start as a social couponing app, but we wanted to reinvent the mobile shopping experience in more ways than one. Our “aha” moment came when we discovered that people who play mobile games also shop on their phones, so we found a way to merge the two.
As Social Voucher evolved over the years, we remained focused on the same fundamental principle. Leveraging the power of social behavior and peer-to-peer influence to spread coupons and deals, Social Voucher evolved into a game-commerce app that we named Stocket. A hybrid of mobile gaming and e-commerce, Stocket introduces an innovative way to discover trending products and shop- all while playing an immersive game.
Social Voucher acquired the Wisconsin-based augmented reality company ARrival Labs in 2014. Tell us about this acquisition.
GP: We discovered ARrival Labs through a friend of a friend who connected us. Upon meeting the ARrival team, we realized that not only should we acquire them, we had to acquire them due to the talent that they brought to the table.
We initially bought ARrival Labs for their talent, and shelved their augmented reality capabilities to focus on our core business. But as augmented reality awareness and popularity continued to increase, we began planning how this technology would be incorporated into Stocket. The intellectual property that we own as a result of our ARrival Labs acquisition puts us way ahead of the game.
What’s got you so excited about Stocket?
GP: Stocket is already a disruptive application because it combines two top sectors: gaming and e-commerce. And once we launch Stocket’s augmented reality features, we expect them to further disrupt, and give the game an extra edge.
Do you feel that Social Voucher has as much potential as Inktomi?
GP: Yes, I believe that in today’s market, Social Voucher has as much, if not more, potential as Inktomi.
GP: The mobile smartphone adoption over the last five years has more people shopping and gaming on their phones than ever before, with continued year over year growth. Stocket is a combination of both of these industries in one platform.
How does Stocket stand out among today’s other popular mobile games?
People will spend their time and money playing a game that they find enjoyable and rewarding- this is how mobile gaming has become a $100 billion industry. But while many of the other gaming applications out there offer no tangible rewards, Stocket is among the first to provide users with real rewards. Players will begin seeing these rewards after our initial launch.
Stocket’s augmented reality features are also still very much in stealth mode, but soon enough we will begin to reveal how the games augmented reality features will be used to reward players.