With New Solution, Foursquare Targets SMB and Startup Markets

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Riding high off the success of its Places database and Pilgrim SDK, the location intelligence company Foursquare is opening up its location data to the small and mid-size business market.

The new Places API for Startups targets small-but-growing companies. The solution formally launches this morning, but it’s already being used by a handful of mobile apps, including the life-tracking app Gyroscope, the foodie app Camera Eats First, and Slice, an app that helps consumers order from their favorite local pizzerias.

“We know how important contextual location is and will continue to be for apps and developers, and we want to give businesses of all sizes the tools to make those experiences possible in their own apps,” says Peter Krasniqi, vice president of global sales strategy and operations at Foursquare.

Places API for Startups is an extension of Foursquare’s popular Places API, which tech giants like Uber, Samsung, Snapchat, and Twitter have been using to add location into their apps and services for years. With its new solution, Foursquare is making its data available to innovators and rising startups at an affordable price point.

“We’re already helping some of the world’s biggest companies power contextual experiences that otherwise would not be possible without access to our best-in-class location database and understanding of more than 105 million places around the world, and we’re excited to help companies of all sizes and stages do the same,” Krasniqi says.

With Places API for Startups, companies will be able to integrate Foursquare’s global venue database and add photos, tips, and reviews in order to give users a complete picture of any destination. Companies will be able to layer in location search, details on venues, and location sharing as a way to connect their products to what’s happening in the real world.

The solution also allows for the creation of multiple apps with access to an unlimited number of daily API calls. Companies looking for a way to identify where their users are located in real-time can take advantage of Foursquare’s proprietary Snap-to-Place technology, as well.

Foursquare says its Places API for Startups offers more place attributes than any other available location API.

Situated in between Foursquare’s Enterprise tier for large-scale partners and its free tiers, which are available for non-commercial developers, pricing for Places API for Startups will start at $599 per month for developers from mid-sized companies. Foursquare will continue to offer free access to its API for non-commercial partners making fewer than 100,000 daily API calls.

“There is no cutoff or size restriction for access to the Startup API tier. Whether a company wants to pursue an Enterprise or Startup plan is based on their business needs,” Krasniqi says. “If a company requires more premium content, venue details, or support than what the Startup tier offers, then our Enterprise offering might be the right option for them.”

Where Places API for Startups differs from Foursquare’s Enterprise tier is the amount of content to which small and mid-size developers have access around venues. Startup tier account holders can access four tips and photos per venue, while Enterprise account holders have unlimited access, as well as unlimited regular and premium daily endpoint calls.

Foursquare’s evolution from check-in app to local recommendations and discovery tool to natively digital location intelligence firm is well documented. Today’s launch is one example of how the company is coming full circle.

“Since the very beginning, Foursquare has been all about supporting entrepreneurs and innovators, and this latest launch allows us to offer our industry-leading solutions for a new network of developers who want to connect people and place,” Krasniqi says. 

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.