How Accel’s Jim Breyer is aiming to get a cut of EVERY local dollar spent

Is Jim Breyer implementing an evil plan?

I’ve started taking note of what Accel Partner’s Jim Breyer is up to.

You might have thought he was in Munich last week to catch the fun Duffy concert. You’d be wrong.

Instead, look at who is he’s hanging out with to start to get a picture of the puzzle he’s building.

He’s building a cabal where he’s going to get a cut of nearly every local dollar we spend.

The three companies?

1. Groupon.
2. Foursquare.
3. Qriously.

These three, together, are going to provide the complete local experience. Here’s how.

1. Groupon gets you to go visit new businesses through emails.
2. Foursquare entices you to new businesses when you check in or walk by.
3. Qriously finds out whether you’ll be back or not (or other details), which will let the other two get even better.

UPDATE: Breyer/Accel is only invested in GroupOn, but since most of the money will get collected by Groupon, that’s what matters the most anyway.

This is how you should do business cards for SXSW. Thanks @c_kahler

You might not know Qriously (the photo on this post is of CEO Christopher Kahler, who has the best business card I collected in the past two weeks while traveling in Germany and Switzerland), but they just signed their first questions deal and they have a set of mobile apps that are mostly a way for them to get feedback from users around the world about businesses you’re in.

I saw the system work tonight in Geneva and it’s pretty interesting.

The guy who showed me how it works showed me a photo app. After you take a photo it asks you a question, like, “did you like your meal?”

Wait a second, how did it know I was at a place that serves meals? Oh, yeah, Foursquare.

On it you use your finger to instantly vote yes or no.

Or, it could ask you “were you happy with your deal and would you come back?”

This can be used to prove to businesses that Groupon is working fine.

Damn that Jim Breyer, he’s so smart. I just saw how with three companies he’s gonna get a cut of nearly every local dollar spent.

I wish I had been invited to the dinner in Munich where the four of them got together to talk about business.

Don’t think they have the industry’s attention? Check out the photo that I shot at DLD where Foursquare and GroupOn were on stage.

Funny that they didn’t talk about what they REALLY were doing in Munich! That’s OK, we’ll all figure it out in 2012 when these four take over the local marketplace.

Foursquare and GroupOn founders on stage at DLD

By the way, the cartoon on this post is by Hugh Macleod of — Rackspace hired him to come up with a series of cartoons and this one seemed to fit this post.

UPDATE: I updated this post to correct what companies Accel is actually invested in.


12 thoughts on “How Accel’s Jim Breyer is aiming to get a cut of EVERY local dollar spent

  1. Robert – how does Foursquare “entice you to new businesses when you check in or walk by”. All I can really do is check in to places I’ve already decided to go to. The real question is, why did you decide to go to that place to begin with? Seems to me Foursquare really doesn’t enter into the decision making process….


    1. I think you’ve missed a major part of checkins. They aren’t always done in restaurants. For instance, I just checked into my hotel in Geneva. Foursquare could show me offers from restaurants or other businesses nearby. THAT is real power that they are just starting to figure out with their offers and tips.


      1. True – if I check in at a location, nearby locations can try and entice me in, particularly in a “travel” context. I just wonder how often that scenario plays out in the “local” scenario….good point though.


  2. Nice headline, but you have to define “local” very narrowly to make it true.

    I check in at an airport and find I’m there with 9 other people. Place looks a lot busier than that. I guess the other travelers are spending dollars that Jim Breyer won’t get a piece of. Oh, and businesses will have to get a lot better at pitching enticing offers to FourSquare users. I haven’t seen one that I responded to.


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