Summary:

Microsoft puts a stake in Foursquare’s future, offering the startup $15 million for access to location-award datasets and technology that could help Microsoft compete with Apple and Google in mobile.

foursquare microsoft

Microsoft must have liked what it saw when it began checking out Foursquare in August. The software giant — which is having a busy day — followed through on a strategic investment and licensing partnership with the geolocation network, totaling $15 million.

“This will help us continue to build out our product, and, even more excitingly, make sure more people get access to the power of Foursquare,” the startup said in a statement to Gigaom.

The partnership comes at a particularly dynamic time for both companies. Today, Microsoft crowned Satya Nadella as CEO, ushering in a new era for the PC company, and last month, Foursquare raised a “validating” $35 million Series D after spending most of the last year fighting off rumors of weakening prospects. With Microsoft’s added boost, Foursquare has raised $50 million in additional cash in the last two months.

According to Foursquare, Microsoft will gain access to a few key tools, including the startups’s dataset and the passive location technology that is currently driving the startup’s new “smart product.”

So, in the near future, when you use Microsoft devices powered by the Windows and Windows Phone operating systems and products like Bing, places will be enhanced by Foursquare – to provide contextually-aware experiences and the best recommendations of any service in the world

The natural home for this kind of technology is likely an enriched maps and alert system for the Windows Phone, which Microsoft is reportedly expanding on the back of a potential new deal with Sony. Foursquare’s data licensing deal isn’t exclusive to Microsoft, though it’s likely that the startup’s engineers will give the software giant’s products a little extra TLC.

The partnership is also a symbol of the turnaround Foursquare has managed since last year, when it took $41 million in high-risk convertible debt and seemed to lack steady revenue streams. Despite the rocky road, it’s clear that both investors and companies see value in the startup, and are offering the cash to keep its evolution going.

 

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