Foursquare sees no funding needs this year

MUNICH, Germany Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:13pm EST

A view of the Foursquare office in an undated image courtesy of the company. REUTERS/Foursquare

A view of the Foursquare office in an undated image courtesy of the company.

Credit: Reuters/Foursquare

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - Startup website Foursquare has enough money to last it through to the end of the year and is in no rush for a sale or public offering, despite new competition from Facebook, co-founder Dennis Crowley said.

The company, which helps users find friends and local recommendations by "checking in" to show where they are, grew from 100,000 users to more than 6 million in the last year and raised $20 million in a funding round last summer.

"We're in a good spot right now," Crowley told Reuters in an interview on Monday at the DLD media conference in Munich. "We've got enough money to go through the end of the year."

He did not rule out the option of raising more money before that but said: "We're 10 to 20 percent of where the roadmap is supposed to end. It's just too early to get off the ride."

Foursquare is reported to have been a takeover target of companies including Yahoo. Since then, Facebook has introduced a new feature, "Places," that lets its users track friends' whereabouts across the United States.

This year is expected to see a clutch of high-profile Internet companies go public and some observers wonder whether another tech bubble may be forming.

Foursquare hopes to change the way consumers experience places by showing them information supplied by the consumer's own network of contacts.

"It really changes the way that I think people go out and experience the world," he said. "We're taking things that people really love about the online experiences and social networking online ... and applying them to the real world."

Aside from that side of the business, which is free to consumers, Foursquare is building relationships with local merchants such as cafes or bars that are recommended by its members, and helping them connect directly with those consumers.

"We can show you almost like a dashboard of the types of people that go there, who's coming during the day, who your best users are," Crowley said. "We're building tools that allow you to communicate ... back out to those users."

He declined to say how many such local businesses Foursquare was partnering with, but said the company would likely disclose details later this quarter.

About 60 percent of Foursquare's users are in the United States, with most of the rest in Europe, Japan, southeast Asia and South America.

It uses partnerships with mobile carriers to extend its reach to new audiences.

(Editing by David Holmes)

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