Foursquare just laid off 105 employees

Foursquare, the location-focused outfit that in 2020 merged with Factual, another location-focused outfit, is joining the parade of companies to make cuts to one of its biggest cost centers – employees – in 2024. 

Per an email sent out to staffers Thursday afternoon by current CEO Gary Little and viewed by TechCrunch, 105 employees were just let go as the company seeks to “streamline” its operations, and “set the company on more sustainable financial footing.”

Impacted employees saw their system access removed upon receipt of Foursquare’s notification email.

Little didn’t return a request for comment by the time of this post’s publication on Thursday evening, and his letter to employees doesn’t shed much light on Foursquare’s go-forward plan. According to one source, the layoffs represent roughly 25% of the company’s employees.

The letter does, however, address which units were impacted and, relatedly, the divisions that Foursquare plans to ditch, including Visits, OCF, and Foursquare City Guide. 

According to Little’s letter, Foursquare is also pausing work on a number of other initiatives, including “Mobile Developers Tools, Geode, and the current version of FSQ Insights.” 

Foursquare, a darling during the earlier days of the iPhone that invited users to “check in” at locations to earn badges, and which relied on hyperlocal ad revenue to fuel its business, later evolved into an enterprise tech company that sees brands and publishers leverage its data.

For example, Atmosfy, a seed-funded short-form video platform that invites users to explore local businesses, uses Foursquare’s API to bolster its own app.

After its merger with Factual, whose location software helped marketers zero in on customer segments – say, people in the market for a new home — Foursquare moved even further in that same direction. 

Today’s layoffs aren’t the first to hit Foursquare. Employees were laid off at the time of the merger and some reported a separate round of layoffs in 2022.  

Little stepped into the role of CEO in late 2020, roughly six months after Foursquare’s all-stock merger with Factual was announced (the combined outfit ditched the Factual brand).

The financial terms of the deal were never disclosed, but Little was largely installed to protect and grow an investment in Foursquare by The Raine Group, a merchant bank where Little was previously a managing director and which led a $150 million round of funding in Foursquare in 2019. 

Foursquare has not publicly reported a new funding round since that time. The 15-year-old company has raised an estimated $400 million over the years.

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