Microsoft invests $15 million in Foursquare, gets licensing deal in return

By Kip Kniskern | In News | Posted February 4, 2014 1 comment

The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that Microsoft has invested $15 million in popular location check-in service Foursquare, and has signed licensing deal with the New York based company:

In addition to an equity investment, Microsoft has signed a multi-year contract to license Foursquare data in services such as its mobile operating system and Bing search engine. With that deal, Microsoft becomes Foursquare’s single biggest source of revenue, though Crowley declined to specify how much the contract is worth.

TechCrunch reports that the licensing deal is more than API access:

This is not a simple licensing deal for Foursquare’s location data, instead, Microsoft will be getting the data and much deeper access to its contextual layers than any third party via Foursquare’s API. Holger Leudorf, Foursquare’s head of business development, tells me that this is a multi-year agreement that includes both data and technical components that will integrate with Microsoft’s Bing platform on both Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

Microsoft has big plans for Foursquare integration with Bing, according to TechCrunch, who talked with Microsoft GM for Business Development, Application and Services Group:

Along this vein, Microsoft will be using Foursquare’s integration with the Bing platform to provide things like proactive notifications, integration with Bing Maps, and more tendrils that touch Microsoft’s devices and services on Windows Phone.

Microsoft has made strategic investments before, most notably investing $240 million in Facebook back in 2007, but lately has been letting Google, Apple, and Yahoo! make most of the investment and acquisition moves. With former Skype CEO Tony Bates leading a new senior leadership level Business Development Group, we may be seeing more of these kinds of investments coming from Microsoft.

Posted February 4th, 2014 at 10:45 am
  • Mike binko

    This how it was done be four sing in two foursquare on bing maps you can see your check in bing maps.
    Bing Maps has launched a new app, Foursquare Everywhere. With Foursquare Everywhere you can visualize checkins, tips, mayorships and badges in real time on a map. Each time a user checks in, a small icon pops up on the map. You have the option to automatically zoom to each of those checkins as it appears. Watching New York City in that mode gets dizzying very quickly!

    You can also search for nearby venues on the map and view tips at those venues. Clicking on those venues shows a popup with additional options, including a link to the Foursquare venue page.

    To access Foursquare Everywhere, visit Bing Maps and click the “Map Apps” button near the bottom of the left column (you must be using the new Silverlight version of Bing Maps). You’ll be presented with a number of different apps. Once you launch Foursquare Everywhere, you can log in through the Foursquare API to see your friends checkins on the map.

    It’s quite addicting to watch as people check in, win mayorships and earn badges all over the map, especially in a very busy city like New York!