Fil-Am app developer makes it big in US tech scene

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[/caption] Garrett Gee, whose mother is from the Philippines, parlayed his love of software design and penchant for creative ideas into a flourishing start-up called Scan Inc. that is based out Provo, Utah ? far from the tech hub of Silicon Valley. Gee, who is currently on a short visit to the country, is now one of the most watched young turks of the tech industry after his company collected a total of $1.7 million in investor funding. His ticket to the top, so to speak, is an application that his company developed which allows smartphone owners to scan QR codes and other types of near-field (NFC) technologies and use it in a ?fun and innovative way? in social media and mobile commerce. The QR code, which has risen in popularity recently, is a matrix-type barcode that contains information in a certain product or service. An app scanner, such as the one developed by Scan Inc., can be downloaded by a smartphone owner in order that he can ?read? the information contained in the code. In a roundtable discussion arranged by the US Embassy on Thursday, Gee revealed that Scan Inc., a company which he co-founded with his two friends, surpassed one million downloads at the iTunes App Store just five months after being launched in January 2011. ?On the night we made it available on iTunes, I was happy to see a few people download it. The following day, we hit a thousand downloads, then it went up to 10,000, until there was 100,000 downloads every day,? he shared. In its first full year of operations, Scan Inc. posted a total 10 million downloads in 77 countries, on the iOS platform alone. The company has since rolled out versions for Android and Windows Mobile operating systems. Although he initially rebuffed investors, Gee eventually agreed to receive investments from selected investors that included Google Ventures, Menlo Ventures, and Facebook. Even the Boston Celtics and pop icon Lady Gaga also invested in the company. Although the US accounted 47 percent of its downloaded apps, Gee said a number of Asian countries, particularly Malaysia and Thailand, have posted big numbers as well. ?The Philippine is doing pretty good in terms to the percentage of smartphone owners in the country,? Gee said, noting that the smartphone adoption is slowly increasing in the domestic market.]]>

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