Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley: buyout offers are coming in, but we’re not selling

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Over the past couple of years Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley has made some pretty big changes to the way his company operates. What was once the place people went to see where their friends had been is now where they go for local information.

And while it might not be the social darling it once was, that evolution means that it’s got a far more solid revenue than it did at the beginning of its lifespan. Small wonder then that it’s attracting fairly major investments from the likes of Microsoft.

According to Crowley, it’s also brought a load of buyout offers but, he says, he has no interest in selling the five-year-old company.

Speaking alongside Foursquare investor Ben Horowitz on CNBC, Crowley explained that things were going far too well for Foursquare right now to consider selling.

“We’ve had plenty of opportunities to sell the company and we turned them down, a number of times,” Crowley said. “What we’re doing is not a sprint from A to B; it’s a marathon.”

Revenues, he said, grew over 600% in 2013 and, in the first quarter of 2014, are on track to by up 500% compared with the Q1 in 2013.

According to some back-of-a-matchbox math by TechCrunch, that still doesn’t give it massive income figures, especially for an app that once had so much hype around it.

It does however suggest that Crowley’s decision to ignore the “build it and revenue will come” mentality of many of his peers could well pay off in the long term.

In fact, Crowley seems to be all about the long term and envisages a future where Foursquare still plays an important role in your daily experience without you even thinking about it.

“A lot of these tools have been designed where, if you want to use them, you have to think about using them,” Crowley said of the wider trend in smartphones and the apps we use. “But what’s starting to happen is that with all the sensors [on devices] you have the opportunity to be smart and contextual. We know when you are in a restaurant you’ve never been in before or a city you’ve never been in before. How can Foursquare come to life when you are not thinking about it?”

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