Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and American ExpressCo. (AXP) are vying to take an equity stake in Foursquare Labs Inc.,according to people with knowledge of the discussions.
The two companies are competing to invest in Foursquarerather than cooperating on a joint bid, said one of the people,who asked not to be identified because the information isn'tpublic. Foursquare is talking with other companies about apossible investment, and the talks may not lead to a deal, saidanother person with knowledge of the matter.
Foursquare, which lets users check in to show they'revisiting a place like a restaurant or shop, is also negotiatingwith venture capitalists who own convertible debt about turningtheir holdings into equity, said one of the people.
The discussions suggest that potential investors are morebullish on Foursquare's prospects after it began reaping thebenefits of a new advertising approach that lets brands targetusers when they've checked into a locale. Foursquare in Aprilraised $41 million in debt, a move that let it keep tinkeringwith an unproven business model while delaying debate about thecompany's true worth.
With New App, Foursquare Strives to Be 'Magic' in Your Pocket (New York Times (blog))
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