Science and Tech


Foursquare Announces $15M Investment From Microsoft

Microsoft is betting on Foursquare. Along with a $15 million Microsoft investment, the two companies inked a deal to license Foursquare data.
Posted at 4:46 PM, Feb 04, 2014

Location check-in app Foursquare announced a deal and a $15 million investment from Microsoft Tuesday.

The new partnership adds to the company’s $35 million round of investments it announced in December. But this is about more than money. (Via Mashable, Business Insider, The Verge)

The deal includes a multiyear contract to license Foursquare data. Once a big name in social media, Foursquare has fallen out of the daily conversation.

But that doesn't mean people in New York, for example, aren't checking in. Foursquare reportedly has data on 45 million people and more than 60 million restaurants, shops and other city spots.

The Wall Street Journal reports, "All that data could help Microsoft generate smarter search results, or ping Window Mobile users when they're in the vicinity of a great new restaurant they might like."

TechCrunch spoke with representatives from both companies, and it's clear this is more than a simple API exchange. Microsoft will dig deeper into Foursquare's technology.

Foursquare's head of business development "notes that the future of search is all about personalization, and Microsoft will be able to use Foursquare's technology to do just that for its users."

​But The New York Times reports the deal isn't exclusive, saying this could be the first of many licensing partnerships for Foursquare.

"Foursquare ... is under pressure to prove that it can turn a rich collection of data on its users into revenue and deflect speculation that the company should have sold to Yahoo (like Tumblr) or Facebook (like Instagram) while it had the chance."