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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley have been friendly for some time.The two were spotted at dinner together in April 2011 when Mayer was still at Google.
And Crowley used to work for Google, after it acquired his first startup, Dodgeball.
It seems Mayer still thinks highly of Crowley and Foursquare. So highly, she might be eying his company for a potential acquisition.
That is, if Crowley would sell.
Marissa Mayer was interviewed by Bloomberg, and she talked about the promise of location data on the future of Yahoo, the Web, and mobile.
I definitely think with the Web becoming so vast—there is a much content and social context and now with mobile, there is so much location and activity context. How do you pull all that together? The interesting the way you take it is to say OK, we will use some of that information–your personalisation, your context, what you’ve done, all that—to make sense of the content. It is the Internet ordered for you. Which is interesting because it brings Yahoo back to its roots. It used to be that that’s what Yahoo was. It took the Internet and ordered it up. Now it’s so vast that you can’t just categorize it anymore. But could we provide a feed information that is ordered, a Web ordered for you, and is also available on your mobile phone.
She then went on to list Foursquare specifically as something that excites her in the industry:
I think there are amazing things [in the industry] you get to see all the time. All kinds of amazing technologies on mobile. When you think about what it means to be location sensitive…Some of these are very basic in terms of things like being able to check in, so there’s Foursquare, but if you actually know where people are and where they check in, there are all sorts of sophisticated and interesting things you can go on to do. So I think there are amazing technologies like that.
Crowley turned down offers for ~ $120 million when Foursquare was a hot new company, and that was before it raised an additional $70 million. Yet Foursquare reportedly generated only $2 million in revenues last year. Now, with some doubting Foursquare’s future—specifically, its ability to monetise its 30 million users—Mayer might have more leverage.
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