Photo: Dennis Crowley via Flickr
Kleiner Perkins has been making bigger, later stage bets lately — Twitter and Groupon, in particular. And it could have another opportunity with Foursquare, which, we expect, will raise a big round of money this summer at a big valuation.One development that could make a Kleiner-Foursquare deal easier is that Pelago, a Kleiner Perkins-funded company that used to be considered a potential Foursquare rival, announced yesterday that it was being acquired by Groupon.
While the legend is that Kleiner VC John Doerr once described his investment philosophy as “no conflict, no interest,” investing in Foursquare alongside Pelago could have been uncomfortable for both startups.
Now it’s not a conflict anymore.
But that’s not to say that other Kleiner Perkins investments couldn’t get in the way of a bet on Foursquare, ranging from “Foursquare for shopping” startup Shopkick, to potentially Twitter and Groupon themselves.
And Foursquare should have many options.
As we’ve previously noted, Union Square Ventures, which led Foursquare’s $1.35 million Series A in 2009, could double down via its new “opportunity fund,” which exists in part to allow the company to “continue to invest in our most established and successful companies.”
Or Foursquare could even field some new acquisition offers this summer.
While a Groupon-Foursquare combo now seems less likely, it’s always possible that Google would be interested.
Google’s new CEO Larry Page is, after all, trying to become a big social player, and Foursquare could give Google a very savvy mobile/social team.
That would require Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley to get over his last tour at Google, where the company bought his previous startup, Dodgeball, neglected it, and eventually shut it down. But there’s a price for everything, and $1 billion could probably get that deal done.
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