Foursquare said Monday it signed up its 6 millionth user last week, and the location-based network has grown by more than 3,400 percent over the past year. Meanwhile co-founder Naveen Selvadurai told a conference in Europe that Foursquare is now valued at $250 million and will likely raise another round of funding this year. Despite those impressive numbers, however, the service still has some distance to go before it can claim to be mainstream.
There are a lot of people betting (or hoping) the company can cross that chasm this year. At the DLD conference in Germany on the weekend, founder Dennis Crowley confirmed reports that Facebook and Yahoo made acquisition offers for the company last year, which were turned down in favor of raising a financing round that valued the company at $120 million. According to his co-founder, that value has since doubled.
While 3,400-percent growth is nothing to sneeze at, there are still indications that Fousquare — and location-based services in general, including Facebook Places and Gowalla — have yet to make much of a mark on the public consciousness, even with regular Internet users. According to a Pew Research Center report just a few months ago, only about four percent of Internet users said they had used a location-based service, and only about 1 percent made use of such services on a daily basis.
Crowley, meanwhile, said the service is a lot larger than most people think it is, with about 40 percent of its traffic coming from outside the U.S. In an infographic posted to the Foursquare blog (embedded below), the company illustrated some of the milestones and interesting facts about its growth — including the fact that it has seen over 380 million “check-ins,” and that more than 220 people named Wendy have checked in at the Wendy’s restaurant chain. If you like infographics, we ran one last year that looked at the rise of location-based services as a market.
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