For Foursquare, Brazil is the next big check-in

Foursquare is no longer a U.S. phenomenon. The New York City-based company is beginning to see some rapid growth in highly mobile societies. The newest one to join the party is Brazil, which has started to take off in the past few weeks, according to Co-Founder and CEO Dennis Crowley.

Crowley explained that nearly 50 percent of the Foursquare usage (and users) are in non-U.S. markets, with the bulk of activity coming from Europe as a region and Japan as a country. Many of these folks were using BlackBerry devices, which according to Crowley, accounts for almost 20 percent of Foursquare usage. Lately, the growth for the service has taken off in new markets such as Indonesia and Brazil.

“This growth (in Brazil) is organic,” Crowley says. The number of local Brazilian establishments that encourage checking-in on Foursquare has amazed him. This, in turn, has prompted mobile carriers to reach out to Foursquare, which has established a localized website for Brazil.

Getting an early toehold in one of the fastest growing mobile economies is a good thing for the overall ambitions of the company, which recently crossed the 10-million member mark and grabbed $50 million in new investment for its future growth. According to the Brazilian telecom regulator, Anatel, there were 213 million mobile phone subscriptions at the end of April 2011, of which 82.1 percent were prepaid handsets and 17.9 percent were post-paid mobiles.

From the archives, my previous posts that outline my thinking on Foursquare: