January is an exciting time for an ambitious company like Foursquare. It affords teams a moment in which to digest the final results of the year behind, while setting the course and cadence for the 12 months ahead. It’s a moment for numbers and self-reflection, creative ideation and hard-nosed planning.
Since much of our work — from our beloved consumer apps to our location intelligence business solutions — is rooted in data, we thought we’d take a moment to share some of our own numbers and celebrate how hard the team here has worked, in one of the great comeback stories in the tech industry.
First and foremost, I’m excited to share that 2017 was another strong year for Foursquare’s business. This marks the third year in a row that the company has seen 50% growth or higher.
This growth is based on our diverse set of offerings. Our advertising solution for brands Pinpoint by Foursquare now counts over half the Ad Age 100 as advertisers, and 2017 welcomed new customers with leading brands across retail, QSR, auto, alcohol, entertainment and more. Beyond advertising, Foursquare’s enterprise solutions grew equally fast. Our measurement service, Attribution, which helps advertisers and publishers quantify the lift in real world foot traffic due to ad spend, more than doubled revenue in 2017.
Our developer tools, including Pilgrim SDK and the Places API, grew substantially and Foursquare now provides location technology to more than 125,000 developers. The growth of the Pilgrim SDK is a true point of pride. In less than a year since launch, it has gone live with millions of consumers outside of our own Foursquare City Guide and Foursquare Swarm apps, including a top 5 U.S. bank mobile wallet, a top 3 global travel guide, a leading deals app and the #1 digital jukebox company, helping them to engage with people based on where they go in the real world.
We now see over 3 billion visits a month around the globe, thanks to a panel of more than 25 million people who have opted into always-on location sharing. This is more than double what we were observing at this time last year, and helps us build an ever-sharper picture of the world and the 105 million global venues in our database. We also have developed profiles for an additional 150 million US consumers via more periodic location trails from partner apps (as opposed to always-on movement data).
For everyone who works at Foursquare, it’s deeply meaningful that we’re “inventing the future” not only in our own apps, but for leading developers with tens of millions of users. As we look to the future and where tech is heading, a lot of what the future looks like will depend on location understanding, from AR to self-driving cars to AI smart assistants, mobile payments, and IOT networks. Already we’re helping companies such as Uber improve pick-up and drop-off directories; Samsung launch Bixby AR experiences that let you navigate a street via your phone’s visual search; and Capital One, to remind people when they are in a venue with rewards points, and so much more.
For these reasons, we were honored to be named last year to CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list, which encompasses some of the most influential businesses in the world. We are one of the only companies ever to have been off that list for three years and earn our way back. That’s something to be proud of.
We were also named to the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, a list of the fastest growing companies, for 491% growth over three years.
Of course, none of this would be possible without our expanding team: in 2017,we added more than 50 new roles across engineering, sales, creative, business development, marketing, ops and more.
The year ahead, and a new Chicago engineering office
One mark of building a strong brand is to be proud but never satisfied. So while we’re thrilled about last year’s growth, we are keenly planning the year ahead.
Our first order of business? Foursquare is opening a new engineering office in Chicago. We’ve had a sales presence in the Midwest for years (we have a team of 10 based in Kinzie), but our growing appetite for engineering talent has led us to tap into Chicago’s tech scene, too. We are hiring engineers to work on our proprietary Pilgrim technology under the leadership of Kyle Fowler, a Foursquare alum who is rejoining the company.
We’ll have more updates as the year unfolds, and in the meantime, the Foursquare team is excited and ready for the challenges ahead. 2018 will be a year for innovation and growth (stay tuned!) and a year in which we plan to grow our team by an additional 30%. And a year in which we continue to invent the future of location for consumers, marketers and developers. Onward!