Startup Gigs Nov 23 2010

Foursquare Plans to Double Headcount, Hiring in NYC, SF

By john shinal

The war for West Coast engineering talent is about to escalate.

Foursquare, a fast-growing social networking startup based in New York, plans to expand its San Francisco office by hiring dozens of product development engineers.

"The focus of the San Francisco office will be hiring engineers to beef up our capacity to build and ship product," Foursquare general manager Evan Cohen said. "Our tightest bottleneck has been in server side engineers. If I could get 40 tomorrow, I'd hire them."

The 40-person company plans to double in size over the next year and will continue to hire sales, marketing, product development, operations and support staff in New York, where most of its leadership team is based, according to Cohen.

"We raised the money to grow the team," Cohen said of Foursquare, which garnered $20 million from investors in July.

Foursquare's plans come as Google, Facebook and a number of fast-growing startups in San Francisco and Silicon Valley compete for engineers and other tech workers.

About half of Foursquare's employees are engineers, and another quarter are devoted to full-time product management or support, Cohen said.

Foursquare's product -- part game and part mobile social network -- helps users find friends and activities near their location. The company's user base has grown 20-fold this year to about 5 million, according to Cohen.

The company is looking for engineers with Java programming and development skills who have experience working in an open-source environment that includes Scala, Lift and Mongo DB tools.

The firm, which has one in-house recruiter, has focused on senior-level engineers and has stayed away from hiring interns or recent college graduates, said Cohen, a former executive with Bebo, the social networking startup that was bought by AOL in 2008.

Write to John Shinal

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