Foursquare closes $41M debt financing, ups the ante on a high-risk gamble to own local recommendations

11 Apr

Gigaom

Foursquare announced on Thursday that it has raised $41 million in financing from a group of venture funds, but in an interesting twist the funding is convertible debt rather than equity. To some, that reinforces just how much pressure the company is under to show that it has an actual business, and that it can someday generate enough value to justify the financing it has already raised. In other words, the company and its investors have upped the ante on an ambitious bet.

BusinessWeek broke the news of the Series D funding round early on Thursday, an article that was quickly followed by a post from founder Dennis Crowley on the official Foursquare blog — entitled “Continuing Foursquare’s Growth” — and posts from two separate partners at one of the company’s main financial backers, New York-based Union Square Ventures.

Crowley compares the challenges to Google

In his post, Foursquare founder…

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