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Foursquare’s co-founder leaves CEO role as its valuation declines sharply

Foursquare’s co-founder leaves CEO role as its valuation declines sharply

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Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley is leaving his post as chief executive of the social location company as it tries to find new ways to make money off user data and regain some of its earlier buzz. Jeff Glueck, Foursquare's chief operating officer, will take over as CEO and Crowley will become executive chairman. More damning for Foursquare, however, is its valuation. A new funding round of $45 million led by longtime supporter Union Square Ventures, which was also announced today, indicates the company has lost about half its value since 2013, when it was said to be worth $650 million, according to The New York Times.

The situation is a sobering moment for Crowley, who says turning Foursquare into the next multi-billion dollar social network was an unattainable goal. "Everyone thought we were going to be the company that toppled Facebook, which is crazy talk," Crowley told The New York Times in an interview. There is hope, he says. "We’re building a really amazing, very scalable business around the many successful products we’ve built that people love." Foursquare now has 50 million monthly users and more than 100,000 developers pay to access its data.

Foursquare is worth only half as much as it was in 2013

Crowley's boldest effort to revive Foursquare came in 2014, when the company split off its iconic check-in feature into a separate app called Swarm. The goal was to position Foursquare as a Yelp competitor focused on discovering new places nearby, while Swarm would retain the original app's core social features. The relaunch wasn't a tremendous success and Foursquare has been left struggling to figure out how to continue growing its business. It's unclear where Glueck will take the company now, but Crowley says "it’s important for Foursquare to be run by executives who have previous experience scaling companies."