Foursquare CEO says 'there's no limit' to the industries that mobile data will disrupt

Elizabeth Gurdus
Jim Cramer sat down with the CEO of Foursquare to see how his social media company pivoted to big data.

Since his company broke into big data, Foursquare's new CEO, Jeff Glueck, finds the possibilities for big data companies to be endless.

"I think there is no limit to the industries that are going to be disrupted by mobile data," Glueck told " Mad Money " host Jim Cramer on Friday.


With about 100 million places in the world mapped on Foursquare's servers, the company has made a powerful foray into the big data space, serving 50 of the 100 largest advertisers in the world and roughly 100,000 technology companies.

The refurbished platform allows Foursquare, No. 46 on CNBC's Disruptor 50 list, and its array of customers to understand people's movements across 200 countries, giving them an accurate sense of economic shifts and patterns across the globe.

"Every business in the world has this fingerprint. There's different WiFis that are available on the tenth floor than the third floor, GPS signals, Bluetooth beacons. We've taken billions of signals, called check-ins, and we provided these wonderful apps for people," Glueck said. "But in the process of checking in at 100 million places, they've mapped the world for us. And that allows us to do some magical things."

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The tech companies Foursquare serves are not just startups using the platform to make their apps more intelligent. Their clients include some of tech's biggest players, putting Foursquare in the ranks of Facebook and Google when it comes to understanding where people are going.

"It allows us to make technology that lets you tag a tweet on Twitter from where you're standing. It lets Snapchat make better geofilters. Uber drivers, if you use that app, they're using our database of the world's places kept fresh by people checking in and a million different people, kind of Wikipedia-style, editing. So all of these technology companies are benefiting from this living, breathing set of explorers that are mapping the world every day," the CEO said.

Glueck added that an advantage of Foursquare is that the service is "Switzerland" when it comes to fierce competition in the tech space, making a point to remain neutral while providing key information to its customers.

"The interesting thing about it is everyone who's not Facebook and Google is pretty much using our platform," he said. "We are one of only three companies in the world that can recognize, across the world, when phones walk in and out of these places. And if you look at all our paying customers, it's Apple, it's Microsoft, it's Snap, it's Twitter, it's Uber, it's Pinterest, it's Samsung, and 100,000 other companies."

And although Foursquare has been around for a while, its constantly evolving platform and strategic position in the big data space makes the future look pretty bright, Glueck said.

"Take a look at real estate in the future. It's something we're thinking about," the CEO said. "We know who's on every block in 150 countries and how far they've come from and what kinds of people [they are], and so we think in the future we can help not just technology companies and big advertisers but also real estate and, you name it, urban planning."

When Cramer asked whether the company is considering an initial public offering, Glueck said his goal is to become profitable before entering the public market.

"We did 74 percent revenue growth last year, and we're growing about that fast this year, so we've said we're on track to be $100 million revenue business in the near future and from there, the sky's the limit," he said.