According to a series of published reports Friday, knowledgeable insiders close to the matter say that Microsoft and American Express Co. are interested in acquiring an equity stake in Foursquare Labs Inc.
If the chatter is accurate, the two tech titans are competing to invest in Foursquare rather than cooperating on a joint bid, Bloomberg reveals.
The hugely popular mobile check-in platform is simultaneously negotiating with venture capitalists in possession of convertible debt about “turning their holdings into equity.”
The discussions suggest that potential investors are more bullish on Foursquare’s prospects after it began reaping the benefits of a new advertising approach that lets brands target users when they’ve checked into a locale.
For Microsoft, Foursquare would give the software maker a larger role in both mobile and social media. American Express, on the other hand, is believed to be chiefly interested in competing with credit-card rivals through improved marketing and better loyalty programs driven by social media platforms.
“I think we’ve proven our business model,” Foursquare Chief Revenue Officer Steven Rosenblatt said in a recent interview. “Our business model is very clear and it’s working, doing what we thought it would do, if not more. It’s all well ahead of what we anticipated.”
Apparently, Microsoft and American Express agree.