(Corrects dateline to Jan 24)
* Company has more than 6 million users
* Co-founder says has reached only 10-20 pct of potential
* News on local business partners later this quarter
By Georgina Prodhan
MUNICH, Germany, Jan 24 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 (YHOO.O). 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. [ID:nLDE70N1OJ]
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)
((firstname.lastname@example.org; +4420 7542 7954; Reuters