David Shim Takes the Reins For Foursquare’s Next Era

News continues to roll out from Foursquare in what’s been an eventful 2019. To cap off the year, Jeff Glueck is stepping down and handing the chief executive reins to president David Shim. Shim, as you may know, was CEO of Placed which was acquired by Foursquare in May and integrated into its location tech stack.

Unpacking some of these components, Glueck steps down from the CEO role after stewarding a transformational period for Foursquare. It successfully pivoted from last decade’s check-in darling to a B2B data powerhouse. With that focus, it’s more successful than ever as the mobile internet’s “location layer.”

This is what  Glueck has expressed to me in the past as the “100 Club.” This references more than $100 million in revenue, 100+ million measurable mobile devices, $150 million in funding, 100+ engineers working on location, and POI data for more than 100+ million locations. This was mostly on Glueck’s watch.

That brings us to Shim, who has big shoes to fill but is a fitting person to do it. Now a veteran of the location intelligence segment, he led Placed through two notable exits — first by Snap, then more recently by Foursquare. This speaks to the company’s technology in succeeding diligence rounds of two major players.

Subsequently, all signs point to successful integrations of Placed’s technology at Foursquare. As we examined, Placed attribution engine is already fully integrated. That plus cultural integrations point to a successful acquisition thus far and make Shim’s appointment to chief executive notable but unsurprising.

According to a Foursquare blog post:

“Under David’s leadership, Foursquare will continue to build upon its momentum as the leading independent location technology platform, which drove over $100 million in record revenue this year. This will include further investments into core product offerings—Placed powered by Foursquare, Developer Tools, Data Solutions and Pinpoint—for its 1,000+ advertisers and brands (including more than half of the Fortune 100) and the 150,000+ developers who rely on Foursquare technology.”

Shim will now lead the largest-scale player of an increasingly crowded field. As we’ve examined, there’s a likely shakeout on the sector’s horizon, given data gathering restrictions at regulatory and technological levels. The former refers to GDPR and CCPA, while the latter is all about mobile updates like iOS 13.

That will make 2020 a landmark year for location intelligence, with some turbulence but a likely stronger sector in the end. Foursquare is one of the players that will be left standing in that Darwinian process. We’ll be watching closely and meanwhile congratulate Shim and Foursquare on the latest milestone.

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