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Foursquare gets $15m injection from Microsoft

Things are seriously busy at Microsoft right now. Shortly after announcing that Satya Nadella would be taking over as CEO and Bill Gates was retiring as chairman, the Redmond-based tech giant revealed that it had pumped US$15-million into location-based social network Foursquare.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the deal also gives Microsoft access to Foursquare’s data in services such as Bing and its mobile operating system Windows Phone.

Microsoft therefore become Foursquare’s single biggest licensee, although the location-based service’s founder and CEO Dennis Crowley reportedly wouldn’t be drawn on how much that aspect of the deal was worth.

The investment acts as a boost to the US$35-million investment round the company announced in December, which valued it at around US$650-million.

As Zdnet notes, Microsoft and Foursquare already have an existing relationship. Foursquare data has been integrated into Bing’s sidebar since 2012.

It’s also worth pointing out that Microsoft has a bit of a history of investing in social networks. Back in 2007 it invested in Facebook in a deal that valued the then fledgling startup at US$15-million.

In 2012 meanwhile, it forked out US$1.2-billion for enterprise social network Yammer.

Its own efforts at social media haven’t been anywhere nearly as successful. In December 2012, it launched a Beta version of a product called Socl. It still exists, but I’ll be damned if I know anyone who actually uses it.

Foursquare’s deal with Microsoft is not exclusive and, according to Crowley, won’t change the relationships it has with other companies.

Author | Stuart Thomas

Stuart Thomas
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself to be thrown in the deep and did his best to stay afloat. When not fused with his keyboard, you can find... More