Groupon checks in with Foursquare

Foursquare is linking up with Groupon to offer the firm’s daily deals through its location-based smartphone app, as the firm continues its attempts to boost revenues through daily deals syndication. Foursquare will take an undisclosed cut of any revenue generated via deals purchased through the app. Groupon deals through Foursquare are now live in Chicago, and are due to roll out in the rest of the US and Canada within the next few days. The deal is Foursquare’s sixth daily deals partnership after also linking up with LivingSocial, Gilt City, AT&T Interactive, BuyWithMe and Zozi.

“Foursquare’s goal is to help people connect in the real world, discover new places, and save money through Specials and Deals. We’re excited that Groupon’s daily deals and real-time deals will now be included in our Deals platform,” a company spokesman tells Mashable.

The deal is the highest profile for Foursquare as it attempts to secure its long-term business model. The firm has come in for criticism in recent months for its apparent inability to generate significant revenue, but it has made strides in recent weeks in its attempts to silence critics. Some 500,000 businesses are now signed up to its merchant services, while the firm announced an agreement with American Express in June to offer discounts to cardholders who check in at specific locations.

The deal between arguably the largest players in their respective fields illustrates the continuing marriage of location and daily deals. As the daily deals market evolves and becomes more competitive, some analysts believe that firms need to focus on more niche and local markets in order to differentiate themselves, and mobile devices enable the larger services to offer more targeted and tailored deals to consumers via their real-time location. Groupon recently launched its mobile-based real-time deals service, Groupon Now, in May as it chases mobile revenues, while rival LivingSocial followed suit with Instant Deals. Groupon predicts that half of its revenues will come from mobile within two years.

LivingSocial CEO, Tim O’Shaughnessy, claims that mobile is a “game changing opportunity” for the daily deals industry, telling Reuters: “There’s great potential in this space. We’re investing a lot in it. Whether we get it right remains to be seen.”

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