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Confirmed: Foursquare raises $50 million round

Nice new investment values the hip location startup at around $600 million

Financial trends and news by Ronny Kerr
June 24, 2011
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/1c04

Wow, Foursquare sure does have a knack for big news weeks.

The company announced Friday that it has raised $50 million in new funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Spark Capital and existing investors O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and Union Square Ventures. Sources say the round valued Foursquare at closer to $600 million, not $1 billion as was previously rumored.

Co-founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai posted the following message on the official company blog:

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. All of our employees believe strongly in this vision, and we’re incredibly lucky to have investors and a board that feel the same way.

With a fresh investment in the bank, Foursquare plans to expand rapidly in nearly every direction. That means new hires (there are currently over 10 open engineering positions in both New York City and San Francisco), more merchant offerings, international growth and more.

Crowley and Selvadurai revealed that their company has grown from 15 to 70 employees just over the last year and, just a few days ago, the site surpassed ten million members. (That’s a little bit of a misleading statistic, because Foursquare doesn’t let on how many of those are actually actively using the service. Still, it’s a noteworthy milestone.)

The other big news for Foursquare this week was the announcement that its partnership with American Express has been expanded nationally from its small-time origins at SXSW 2011. Through the program, users receive cash-back deals just by checking in on Foursquare and using their AmEx card at check-out. Right now the program is limited to just a few merchants, including H&M and Sports Authority, nationally, and a few restaurants in the New York area.