Microsoft buys $15 million stake in Foursquare


It’s been a pretty big day for Microsoft. Following the news earlier today that Satya Nadella has been named the company’s new CEO, and Bill Gates would be stepping down as chairman, comes word that the Windows maker has made a sizable investment in Foursquare.

The deal, which has been confirmed by both parties, is said to be worth $15 million, and it will give Microsoft access to Forsquare’s mountain of mobile data. The company plans to utilize the data in its Bing mapping software and various other Windows Phone applications…

Here’s the report from Bloomberg:

“Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) invested $15 million in Foursquare Labs Inc., forging a partnership that will help Windows-powered phones offer restaurant and entertainment suggestions to consumers on the move.

The investment, confirmed in an interview by Foursquare Chief Executive Officer Dennis Crowley, is part of a funding round from late last year that valued New York-based Foursquare at more than $600 million, people with knowledge of the terms said in December.”

The report also cities sources saying that Foursquare’s mobile data will be used in Cortana, Microsoft’s upcoming Siri competitor. Expected to launch in April alongside Windows Phone 8.1, the assistant will facilitate both voice commands and various context-based actions.

With just 45 million monthly users, Foursquare as a social network is relatively small. But its collection of mobile data is one of the largest in the business—many pundits felt that Apple should have acquired, or at least patterned with, the company to improve its Maps app.

During a late 2013 funding round, Foursquare raised $35 million and was valued at more than $600 million.

What do you think, smart move by Microsoft?