Partnerships / Acquisitions

Foursquare Merges With Location Data Firm Factual, Layoffs Expected

Foursquare

New York-based location intelligence company Foursquare and data location provider Factual are now one company.

Tech Crunch reported the companies’ merger on Monday (April 6). Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The marriage could make the two companies an intelligence powerhouse.

The newly-merged company will keep the Foursquare name with its CEO, David Shim, staying in the same role. Los Angeles-based Factual’s Founder and CEO Gil Elbaz will join Foursquare Co-Founder Dennis Crowley on the board of directors and executive team, the report said.

A company spokesperson told the news outlet there will be layoffs since the employees in both firms have similar jobs. The company would not provide specifics on the number of workers impacted.

The negotiation for the merger came well before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Foursquare told the online news outlet.

Foursquare was launched as an app a decade ago but was quite different at that time. Back then, it simply allowed users to let their friends see where they were headed, but has since grown to be a marketing platform that relies on location data.

This is not the company’s first buy. Last year, as reported here, Foursquare acquired Placed from Snap Inc. at a time when Foursquare was flush with $150 million in new funding.

Last fall, as reported in this space, then Foursquare CEO wrote in an op-ed piece in The New York Times that it was time to regulate the location data space.

“There are no formal rules for what is ethical, or even legal, in the location data business,” Jeff Glueck wrote, in advocating regulation. “We could all take a Hippocratic oath for data science (as in medicine: “First do no harm”), and hope that living by such an oath would curb abuses. But even in the best of circumstances, that oath is voluntary.”

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