From the TechCrunch article:
Today, Foursquare is announcing that it has received $15 million in funding as a result of a partnership with Microsoft. The deal will see Foursquare contributing to the Bing platform’s location and context layers on both Windows 8 and Windows Phone.
The funding will be rolled into Foursquare’s previous raise of $35 million in December, bringing the total to $50 million. In addition, a licensing deal has been struck for the location data, but the financial terms of that haven’t been disclosed.
This is not a simple licensing deal for Foursquare’s location data. Instead, Microsoft will be getting the data and much deeper access to its contextual layers than any third party via Foursquare’s API. Holger Luedorf, Foursquare’s head of business development, tells me that this is a multi-year agreement that includes both data and technical components that will integrate with Microsoft’s Bing platform on both Windows 8 and Windows Phone.
Foursquare will expose more functionality to Microsoft’s team than any other platform has access to. Luedorf says this includes Foursquare’s location targeting system that utilizes phone sensor data to pinpoint user locations and points of interest.
“This is a great validation of our platform strategy,” says Luedorf. “We’re positioning ourselves as the location layer of the Internet.”
Luedorf says that the integration will assist Foursquare’s commercial component as well, doubtlessly providing many opportunities for branded results in maps products and other places — and likely increased inventory for Foursquare’s ad products..
The upshot of all this is that Microsoft will be using Foursquare integration with Windows and Windows Phone to provide proactive notifications from people, places and events around you, integration with Bing Maps (on Windows 8) and with HERE Maps and other services (on Windows Phone 8).
The exact details of the deal are still under wraps and will doubtless take months, if not a year or two, to fully come to fruition, but more data, more intelligently used, has to be a good thing, especially as Microsoft seeks to compete with the juggernaut that is Google Now on Android and Chrome.
Just as Bing Search, HERE Maps and Skype are core services on Windows Phone, it looks like Foursquare could be about to join the list.