Venture

Foursquare Buys A Company From Snap After Raising Fresh $150M

Foursquare, which has been tracking and measuring location data since 2009, just raised its largest funding round to-date and made its first acquisition, a company from Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat.

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New York-based Foursquare recently raised $150 million from The Raine Group, and used part of the same funding to acquire its first company: Placed which uses location data to measure ad effectiveness.

Placed Founder and CEO David Shim will join Foursquare as president of the company. The company told me it will also be growing its team to 350 people and start a Seattle office, located in Placed’s previous headquarters.

The acquisition and funding round together will help Foursquare boost research and development. It will also help it expand (more details as we learn them forthcoming).

The goal of this acquisition is to build a trusted, independent location technology platform that gives advertisers more insights on consumers, the company said.

We last wrote about Foursquare in October when it raised a $33 million Series F. Back then, it had pivoted its strategy from social media to general location services data aggregator. Back then, our Holden Page put it clearly:

For a late-stage startup that’s been operating for nearly a decade, it’s a very humble sum of money to raise. Late-stage rounds are generally enormous in 2018, persistently reaching into the hundreds of millions. A Series F round in 2018 averages to $148.4 million, according to Crunchbase.

So, this new investment of $150 million meets market standards. And looking at Foursquare’s funding history, it’s more than four times larger than its previous round.

Gary Little, managing director of global investment bank The Raine Group, said in a statement that “we see location based data and technology underpinning some of the largest fundamental shifts in technology.” He added that Foursquare’s location data analysis will impact a variety of sectors, from commerce to entertainment.

I caught up with Foursquare’s senior communications manager Jennifer Yu a few weeks ago who said the company has been extremely sensitive around how it tracks, and talks about location data. Now, the location company has acquired another location company, so how exactly the decade-old business will live up to 2019 standards around data security is top of mind.

Illustration Credit: Li Anne Dias