Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Foursquare for All!

If you haven’t heard yet about Foursquare…trust me, you will soon. The company is not brand new, but it has become absolutely white-hot since the recent South by Southwest Conference (and if you don’t know about SXSW…come on, you are just not paying attention). I’m pleased to say that the serial entrepreneur Dennis Crowley who is the CEO of Foursquare, is a Syracuse University grad, which is giving us something to be happy about here in the land of the Orange now that basketball season is over. From a recent Wall Street Journal story about the company: Foursquare CEO: We’ll Hit 1 Million Members In A Few Weeks.

Foursquare, a mobile social-gaming application, encourages members to “check-in” at venues and awards the most frequent patron the title of mayor. It’s really all in the name of fun, but it seems some dirty politics may be developing around Foursquare mayorship.

And while New York-based Foursquare members compete for mayorships, investors are competing for a piece of the start-up’s next round of funding. Several news reports this week peg the company’s funding target at $10 million with a lofty valuation between $60 million and $70 million. Foursquare Chief Executive Dennis Crowley tells us he can’t yet comment on a new funding round, though he said we should check back next week after he makes a trip to the West Coast. The company is rumored to be considering Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz and Khosla Ventures - all in Silicon Valley - as potential lead investors.

So, why are VCs so enthusiastic about Foursquare? One reason is how fast the company’s membership is growing. Crowley said Foursquare attracted 120,000 users during this year’s South-By-Southwest festival alone and has grown to about 750,000 total users now.

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