Placed’s Commitment to Independent Measurement

Last week, we excitedly shared the news that we were joining forces with Foursquare. And the outpouring of enthusiasm by clients, partners, and the industry at large has been tremendous. However, one question, which rings familiar, “can Placed be truly independent alongside Foursquare’s media business?” Overwhelmingly, the answer is YES! Just as it had been two years ago.

In June 2017, Placed was acquired by Snap, Inc. with the goal of delivering a truly independent “…yardstick that can measure the offline effectiveness of advertising across multiple platforms and publishers.” And we did just that. In the shadow of over a billion dollars in media (Snap), Placed has built the #1 attribution solution in market. That’s 500+ advertisers and 450+ publishers working with Placed across more than $2B+ in measured media in the last year alone.

With the acquisition by Foursquare, Placed will build on its established stance as the most widely used, independent location-based attribution platform:  

  • Placed powered by Foursquare will operate independently of Foursquare’s media business
    • That means separate support teams, one for attribution clients, and another for media
    • That also means zero exchange of advertiser or partner data between the teams
  • Placed’s production infrastructure will operate separately from any media production infrastructure
  • Placed will continue to maintain its Seattle office
  • Service is uninterrupted for the +1,000 clients already benefiting from Foursquare and Placed technology.

If these points look familiar, that’s because they resemble the letter that I wrote in November 2017, CEO Letter: Continued Independence, Investment, and Innovation. The difference now is that we’ve since added over 150+ partners since, highlighting the trust that the market has put in Placed and now Placed powered by Foursquare as the independent leader in attributing store visits to advertising.  

Thanks to our supporters, including Jeremi Gorman, Chief Business Officer of Snap, Inc., who said last week, “Together, Foursquare and Placed are a powerhouse in location technology and measurement, and we are excited to see how they invent the future of location. We look forward to continuing to work with them in many capacities, including measurement and location data, as we focus on building on the growing momentum in our advertising business.”

We look forward to sharing more news and proving our value and integrity to customers and partners.  

To learn more about how Foursquare and Placed are changing the world of location technology, please see Placed Blog and Foursquare Blog.

Last Letter as CEO of Placed, First Letter as President of Foursquare

Since starting Placed almost 10 years ago, we held the thesis that the location industry needed a single source of truth in order to truly drive adoption.  Placed has delivered that single source of truth in measuring media to store visits with Placed Attribution, used across 440+ publishers and platforms on behalf of 500+ advertisers.  Additionally, Placed Insights, our open location analytics platform, is the most widely utilized in market with thousands of users logging in monthly.

While the adoption of Placed has exceeded our own expectations, there has been a competitor that I’ve begrudgingly admired from a distance.  They hold many of the same principles as Placed, invested in proprietary first party data, building models based on validated visits, focusing in engineering and data science first, creating a market leading point-of-interest database, and most importantly, valuing and protecting user privacy.  This company is Foursquare, and I’m excited to announce that today Placed is merging with Foursquare to deliver the most comprehensive and fully independent technology stack in the location technology industry.

The combination of Foursquare and Placed standout as the quantifiable leaders in market:  

  • Well over $100MM in revenue the last 12 months tied exclusively to location across more than 1,000 clients
  • In the last 12 months over $3 billion dollars in media spend attributable back to store visits representing a quarter of a trillion ad impressions
  • Placed powered by Foursquare will be the undisputed leader in offline attribution, trusted by:
    • 75 of the 100 most visited chains in the US
    • 18 of the 20 most visited restaurant brands in the US
    • 14 of the 20 most visited retailers in the US
    • 450+ publishers across digital, video, TV, and OOH
  • The largest team to ever focus exclusively on location with 350+ employees with over 40% representing Engineering and Data Science
  • Investment led by leading technology media and telecommunications-focused global merchant bank The Raine Group along with its co-investors in the amount of $150MM, representing one of the largest investment commitments the industry has seen
  • A measured audience of over 100MM unique devices in the U.S., thanks to the combination of Placed with Foursquare’s extensive data, developer network and consumer apps.
  • Placed and Foursquare’s first-party data centers on transparent opt-in, always-on location, true visit and stop detection, and multi-sensor awareness.
  • A combination of Placed’s validated visits with Foursquare’s user-confirmed visits that number over 13.1 billion to date, making it the leading first-party data set to train machine learning to capture accurate store visits.

With the scale that a combined Placed and Foursquare will deliver in-market, you’ll see many improvements across our suite of products, while remaining committed to our position as the independent measurement solution for store visits:  

  • In the coming months, Foursquare Attribution will merge into Placed Attribution, reintroduced as Placed powered by Foursquare. It will deliver a single solution with all of the best-in-class features associated with each service
  • Placed will continue to deliver offline attribution to its 500+ advertisers and agencies
  • Placed will continue to be Snapchat’s preferred solution to measure ad exposures to store visits
  • Placed will continue to add new partners and advertisers and expand existing relationships as the largest independent advertising to in-store attribution solution in-market   
  • Placed will continue to operate independent of media with a strict process in place to protect partner and advertiser data  
  • The new offering will immediately incorporate Foursquare’s industry leading POI as well as proprietary and privacy-focused 1st party data into its platform (105MM POIs across 150 countries)

When we look back, history will define this as a seminal moment in location, that changes everything, and I couldn’t be more excited and honored to be a part of this ride at Foursquare as President.

David Shim

Founder and CEO

PS – A special thanks goes out to the team at Snap, including Evan Spiegel and Jeremi Gorman, for embracing the opportunity and impact of a combined Foursquare and Placed, and former CSO Imran Khan, for believing in the vision of Placed in 2017.