Foursquare seemed to have peaked between 2009 and 2010. Today Foursquare is struggling to stay relevant and competes intensely against Facebook Places and Yelp. Foursquare introduced ads within their search engine, but it has been disappointing since many people do not utilize the search built into the app. The company has not been able to generate much revenue from mobile ads based on a user’s location as a result. Foursquare generated around $2 million in total revenues last year according to sources with BusinessWeek. In order to keep the company going, Foursquare raised $41 million from the private equity company Silver Lake Partners and venture capital companies Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, and Spark Capital.
O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures Posts
littleBits is a New York based startup company that makes electronic toys that are similar to Legos. The company has just raised $3.65 million in Series A funding in a round led by True Ventures. Khosla Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and Lerer Ventures participated in this round of funding. Joi Ito, Nicholas Negroponte and Joanne Wilson were seed investors in the company.
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Strobe is a start-up company that is creating publishing tools that focuses on a new generation of web standards. Strobe raised $2.5 million in funding as a first round. O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and Hummer Winblad Venture Partners participated in this round of funding. Strobe CEO and co-founder Charles Jolley announced the funding earlier this week.
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Popular URL shortening and analytics service Bit.ly has raised $8.9 million in Series B financing. This round of funding was led by AOL Ventures and RRE Ventures. Existing investors include Betaworks, O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures, Founders Fund, and SV Angel. Every day about 200 million Bit.ly short links are clicked on through Twitter and other services. Even though Bit.ly is no longer the default URL shortening service for Twitter, the traffic continues to grow for the service.
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URL shortening service Bit.ly has been growing at an aggressive rate as they have become the default for Twitter. Given their current growth rate, the company needed another injection of cash as they have raised $1.5 million from previous investors. These investors include Betaworks, SoftTech (Jeff Clavier), Ron Conway, Mitch Kapor, Chris Sacca, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, and Howard Lindzon. The funding was added to an SEC filing and TechCrunch confirmed the round with Bit.ly President John Borthwick. The $1.5 million round was set up as a convertible debt note. Bit.ly received 2.7 billion clicks last month. last week alone about 744 million Bit.ly links were clicked on. [TechCrunch]
Foursquare is an iPhone application that allows users to broadcast their location to friends. This service is pretty similar to Google Latitude. Foursquare raised about $1.3 million in seed funding according to an SEC filing. The money was provided by Union Square Ventures and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. Albert Wenger joined the Foursquare Board of Directors as a result of the funding round.
Foursquare was founded by Dennis Crowley. Crowley founded Dodgeball and sold it to Google in the past. Google did nothing with Dodgeball so Crowley left the company. Foursquare just finished building a Google Android application and will soon be releasing a BlackBerry application.
After doing some searching, BusinessInsider found out what the approximate valuation of FourSquare is. It is roughly between $7-$14 million according to sources.
Bit.ly has been growing rapidly with the help of Twitter. People are constantly using Bit.ly to shorten URLs of stories, images, and videos that people want to share with their Twitter followers. Bit.ly was created under Betaworks, an incubation firm that helped sell Summize to Twitter last year. Betaworks has taken Bit.ly and is spinning it out as a separate, well-funded company.
O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and several other investors plugged $2 million into the URL shortening service. Other investors include Social Leverage, SoftTech VC, and Ron Conway. Bryce Roberts of O’Reilly will join the Board of Directors at Bit.ly.
Just last week alone, about 20 million URLs have been shortened using Bit.ly. That number is increasing by 10% every week. The only source of revenue Bit.ly has is Google Ads that are scattered around their homepage. This is a similar approach to their biggest competitor TinyURL.com. TinyURL depends mainly on donations and Google Ads too.