Home  › Social › Social Commerce
4sq-deals-rec

Foursquare Scores Microsoft Double Whammy: Licensing Deal and $15 Million Investment

  |  February 5, 2014   |  Comments

Though somewhat overshadowed by Microsoft's appointment of Satya Nadella as CEO, the news of the company's $15 million investment in Foursquare, alongside a licensing deal, is still a big deal.

Though somewhat overshadowed by Microsoft's appointment of Satya Nadella as chief executive, the news of the company's $15 million investment in Foursquare, alongside a licensing deal, is nevertheless more than noteworthy.

While not giving information on the terms of the licensing deal per se, Foursquare explains in a blog post that its hyper-local data will be used to provide insights, or "contextually-aware experiences," to users of Windows or Windows Phone OS devices. As part of that, Bing users will also benefit from the enrichment of information when they run searches: Foursquare's places recommendations will be served to them seamlessly via the platform. A Microsoft representative hardly gave more details on the deal by saying that it is "a multi-year commercial and technical partnership."

According to the mobile localization startup, their database has now clocked in 5 billion check-ins and has more than 60 million places registered. That is what Microsoft has also invested into, for the price tag of $15 million.

At the moment, Foursquare seems to have lost its "hype" status with the "in" crowd that it had attracted at the beginning, but the service is therefore more interesting to brands, marketers, and advertisers, as it reaches a bigger, more diverse audience. Brands have understood that, and the likes of American Express have been partnering with the startup to serve special offers.

Nationwide local services have also jumped on the bandwagon: look at delivery apps like GrubHub and Seamless, for example. What better way to reach potential customers than by offering them deals and suggestions on where to go and what to order or eat?

The Foursquare app with local recommendations and deals:
4sq-deals-rec 

So far, critics of the app have blamed it for a lack of vision and revenue stream, but Foursquare seems to have remained focused on building the product and securing the necessary funds to do so. Just in December, it raised $35 billion to boost its ad network. The Microsoft investment is closely tied to the licensing agreement: the money will be used to "double down on local search and experiences," according to reports from The New York Times quoting Holger Luedorf, Foursquare's head of business development, as saying. Microsoft doesn't just pour money into a social-local-mobile (SoLoMo) app without having a supporting vision.

One cannot help but wonder though: Could this signal an exit strategy for Foursquare? It certainly is a strong signal for marketers to brush up their strategies across Microsoft properties for upcoming campaigns.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Liva Judic

Liva Judic joined Search Engine Watch and ClickZ in May 2010 as a news blogger. She has lived and worked across the globe in Madagascar, Switzerland, London, NYC, Asia and is now based in between New York and Berlin.

Her background is in government relations and financial media where she started out as a journalist at Bloomberg and became senior editor at AFX news (now part of ThomsonReuters). Prior to forming her own consultancy Judic was head of international PR for a head of state.

Judic focuses on facilitating brand and marketing transitioning for European startups moving to the US. She has been named one of the Top 50 Industry Influencers of 2014 by AGBeat 

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Social newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...