Is there a way to check-out on Foursquare? Either way, Naveen Selvadurai is doing it. The location based service's co-founder announced on Sunday that March will be his last month at the company.
On his blog Selvadurai writes that while he will continue to be involved with Foursquare (he's on the board and will continue to advise the company), he hopes to get back to "what I love most -- being an entrepreneur, learning and building new things."
"[A]fter three years, I feel I’ve done all I can do and I’m moving on," Selvadurai writes in his blog post. "Going forward, I’m going to continue to be connected to the company: I’m on the board, I’ll still be advising, and I’m obviously going to be the single most vocal user. But the spring is time for things that are new, and I realize that I have a desire to do something new as well."
A Foursquare spokeswoman said in an email statement to The Huffington Post:
When Naveen and Dennis launched foursquare at SXSW 2009, they had a few hundred beta testers. Now, as we approach our third birthday, we have a community of over 15 million that has checked in over 1.5 billion times. This wouldn’t have been possible without Naveen’s creativity, vision, and tireless work. We’re sad to see him go, but excited to see what he builds next. We can’t thank him enough for everything he’s done to make foursquare what it is today.
The announcement comes days before Foursquare's third anniversary. Selvadurai and founding partner Dennis Crowley launched the service at Austin's tech, music and film extravaganza SXSW in 2009.
Foursquare allows users to share their real-time locations by "checking-in" at venues using an app on their smartphone. Each check-in confers points which go towards rewards such as becoming the "Mayor" of a location or acquiring venue specific badges. Check-ins also can be used to claim discounts and loyalty rewards.
In his blog post Selvadurai writes with pride about the company's quick success:
[I]t's hard to believe that now, three years later, instead of one hundred beta testers, the company has over a hundred incredibly talented employees helping us realize that vision. and they're building amazing things.
In June of last year, the company announced via blog post that there were more than 10 million Foursquare users around the world. Now, there are over 15 million. According to CNET, 750,000 merchants have signed up to participate in the service.
Selvadurai was a software architect for Sony when he began working with Crowley on a program that would allow people to digitally bookmark the places they'd been around the city.
In June 2011 TechCrunch reported that Foursquare had a reported valuation of between $500-600 million.