Friday, June 24, 2011

FourSquare's New Round

The first place I heard about it was here.

Then I went to the TechMeme site, pressed the F for find button and typed FourSquare. And I read up.

TechCrunch: Foursquare Closes $50M at a $600M Valuation
Foursquare has just closed one of the most secretive rounds of venture capital TechCrunch has seen. .... $550 million pre-money, $600 million post ..... Leading it was Andreessen Horowitz ..... Union Square Ventures, OATV also reupped in this round and Spark Capital came in as a new investor ..... The money will be used to build out the merchant platform, the San Francisco office and fuel international expansion ...... Some firms said they shied away from the deal, because they felt monetization was only more unclear now .... With the local space on fire, Foursquare’s target advertisers are already beset with sales people from Yelp, Living Social, Groupon, Google and others calling on them. There’s going to be a level of retailer fatigue, and business-wise Foursquare is late to the party. ..... any investor will have a liquidation preference, meaning they get paid first in the event of an acquisition. So a $50 million deal at any price wouldn’t lose money unless Foursquare winds up being worth less than $70 million. ..... Few of Foursquare’s angel investors were even briefed about it. “Loose Tweets sink companies,” Crowley said. “The series B played out very publicly and it was hard for the company, so we came up with a better process this time.” ..... the company might be working on an additional round to cash out some early investors, to be closed at a later date.
ReadWriteWeb: Foursquare Lands $50 Million Round of Funding
The company has recently partnered with American Express and Groupon though it is unclear if either of those avenues will provide any substantial revenue bump to the company. ....... "Having our current investors double down on us is a tremendous gesture of support for Foursquare and for the direction we're headed," Foursquare wrote in a blog post..... The company is also working on trying to surface news ways to use its data, such utilizing the implicit connections that are made when users interact with businesses and each other..... In the last year, Foursquare has grown from 15 to 70 employees. ..... and try a ton of new things."
GigaOm: Foursquare checks in to $50M in fresh funding
hiring more engineers, developing more offerings for merchants, and expanding internationally
New York Times: Foursquare Checks Into $50 Million in Venture Cash
The fresh infusion of cash will go primarily towards hiring more employees, particularly overseas .... “We’re seeing huge international pick-up,” Mr. Crowley said in an interview. “We’re trying to figure out what that expansion looks like — do we set up an office, hire international engineers?” .... Foursquare said it decided to raise money to help support the company’s skyrocketing growth.
The last valuation was at 100 million at one to two million users, right? Going from that to 10 million users jacks up your valuation by 500 million dollars if you are in a sweet space. That check in space, that location space is special.

The merchant platform is about monetization. The San Francisco emphasis is like saying New York City still lags behind when it comes to top notch engineers, right?

I have been surprised FourSquare's emphasis on Bangalore has not matched its emphasis on San Francisco. Facebook does it. As do many others. Hyderabad is another good one. I have a team there that is part of my tech consulting network. Where has been the advantage of having had an Indian cofounder? For the longest time I thought Naveen was born in the US. I learned in one of his tweets after Bloomberg dropped by that was not the case. He was born in India, it ends up. The South.

FourSquare: Planning for the future of foursquare
Foursquare is not just about the check-in, or recommendations, or points, or badges. It’s about making the world easier to use. It’s about discovering new places, connecting with friends, and forging new relationships with the places you visit. It’s finding new ways to layer technology on the real world.
This should be enough money for FourSquare to hit 100 million users. How long would that take? Two years? One major area of growth might be what I hinted at the FoodSpotting blog earlier in the day in response to their Windows Phone app release. You do stuff through SMS, and you tidy it up later on the big screen web if you messed up any detail.

Next stop: SMS based @foodspotting. For phones with cameras but no other "smartness." Go global, 90% of market.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

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