Spark Capital Makes a Substantial Investment in Foursquare, Purchases $50 Million in StockBy: Heather Campobello - February 1, 2012
Spark Capital is providing its employees with more liquid assets by purchasing fifty million dollars worth of Foursquare’s company stock. Foursquare has 15 million registered users who have collectively checked in 1.5 billion times and has generated information about some 750,000 restaurants and other venues. Spark Capital had already been investing in Foursquare and based their decision to up the ante on the location company’s recent revenues upwards of $600 million.
What makes this even more interesting is the fact that Foursquare has been more concerned with product development than raking in the dough. Well, I am sure that those extra millions will help them hire top notch innovators and designers in an effort accomplish their overarching goals.
Foursquare’s new “Explore” feature is a mobile app that operates as a local recommendations guide and allows users to “discover nearby restaurants, bars, coffee shops, nightlife spots, and other venues, either by category, name, or even something more specific, like “sushi” or “hamburgers.” While many GPS systems have this feature I have noticed that they are not nearly as comprehensive as this app. If I am looking for the new Ethiopian restaurant across town I would use Explore because I do not update my Garmin that often.
Explore also “taps into Foursquare’s own social graph in order to recommend places your friends have visited and liked, while also providing tips and comments from Foursquare’s wider network;” hopefully this feature will prevent me from driving forty minutes to some sketchy taco stand and will guide me on my quest to find the perfect spicy tuna rolls within a ten mile radius.
Recent updates to Explore have further equipped me to find “recommended places anywhere in the world either by moving the map around on the screen or by typing in an exact location” so when I finally get to go to New Zealand and want to try sawfish, I will know where to go before I even book my flight.
Foursquare has also proven to be valuable in the business world in that it “can break down visitor demographics for individual stores, letting them better tailor their wares to their customers.” The company has also been busy “running its coupons via its American Express deal from last year.” And it has also assisted developers by “providing data via its API, which is already used by popular mobile applications like Instagram and Path.”