CNN Monday reported this afternoon that Facebook has bought social cityguide and check-in app Gowalla. Gowalla has a presence in roughly 60 cities globally. It was well-loved by a core of devotees but lost momentum and mindshare to larger rival Foursquare.
Gowalla had two million registered users vs. Foursquare’s 10 million. Gowalla shifted models a couple of times before returning to being a local recommendation site/app.
According to CNN Money, the majority of Gowalla’s employees, including its CEO Josh Williams, will move to Facebook’s HQ in Palo Alto. The employees will reportedly be deployed to help Facebook further develop its Timeline product (and mobile generally).
Gowalla had raised approxmimately $10 million in VC funding in a couple of rounds since 2007. My guess is that Facebook paid that or somewhat less than that amount to acquire the company.
The fate of the Gowalla app and site are apparently undetermined. It’s unlikely that the Gowalla brand will survive however.
Postscript by Barry Schwartz: Gowalla has now confirmed the acquisition on their blog.