Investments, Mobile, News

Social check-in app, Foursquare raises $41 Million in convertible debt financing

Foursquare, a location based social networking website for smartphones,raises $41 million, in the form of a multi-year loan from the Silver Lake Waterman growth debt fund; and convertible debt from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, and Spark Capital. It makes the total raised amount in the company to  $112.4 million.

Recently, Foursquare rolled out version 6.0 of its popular app loaded with new features.Previous funding rounds include $1.35 million in Series A (2009) ,$20 million in Series B (2010) and $50 million in Series C (2011) on a $600 million valuation. Earlier in the last quarter of 2012, there was also a tickling of going into Series D round raising between $50 million-$100 million,with the company valuation of around $700 million.

Created in 2009 by Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai, Foursquare’s user base at the end of 2012 was 30 million; and it powers location information in some 40,000 apps. The company reported only about $2 million of revenue last year increasing the investors hesitation in moving forward with Series D round. However,Crowley tells BusinessWeek that this round is about buying time for the company to play those long-odds out. “This allows us to get closer to being able to prove that there’s a real business here,” he said.

Foursquare is a free app that allows registered users to post their location at a venue (“check-in”) and connect with friends. Users “check in” at venues using a mobile website, text messaging or a device-specific application by selecting from a list of venues the application locates nearby. Location is based on GPS hardware in the mobile device or network location provided by the application. Each check-in awards the user points and sometimes “badges”.

Users can connect their Foursquare accounts to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, which can update when a check in is registered. Foursquare has applications for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile 7, Nokia S40 & S60, as well as Samsung Bada.

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