Last summer, Foursquare split its check-in functionality into two apps: Foursquare (now focused on location-based tips and recommendations) and Swarm (check-ins).
I've never been a Foursquare proponent (see my criticism here), but TechCrunch reported today that Yahoo, in its ongoing campaign to expand its mobile business, is in talks to buy Foursquare for a rumored $900 million.
Microsoft has previously provided funding for Foursquare: $162 million in February 2014.
$900 million seems like a lot to me, considering: "Foursquare has to date raised just over $162 million in funding, with its last round, in February 2014 from Microsoft, valuing the company at over $600 million," according to TechCrunch's Ingrid Lunden and Jordan Crook. "That Microsoft deal also included a licensing agreement to power location context for Windows and mobile searches."
But then I went and looked at Foursquare's "About" page, which lists the following user stats for Foursquare/Swarm:
- Community: More than 55 million people worldwide, who have left more than 70 million tips and checked in over 7 billion times.
- Businesses: More than 2 million businesses have claimed their locations to connect with their customers.
- Platform: More than 65 million places around the world, used by more than 85,000 developers.
- Employees: More than 170 between headquarters in New York, an office in San Francisco, and a lovely outpost in London.
Foursquare/Swarm have more than 55 million users worldwide, leaving more than 70 million tips and 7 billion check-ins.
Perhaps the vast amount of user/business data would be worth $900 million to Yahoo after all, either to use the apps as they are, or do repurpose/rebrand them as something different. Either way, it would be a viable mobile acquisition for Yahoo. We'll just have to wait and find out if it becomes a reality.