Feature

How Foursum used a Free App to Forge Big Partnerships in the World of Golf

Matt Eldridge, CEO of Foursum. Image: Submitted.

MONCTON–A company out of Moncton is helping bring the game of golf into the digital age.

Foursum got its start in 2013, spawned by CEO Matt Eldridge’s love for golf.

“You always go to these conferences and everybody talks about following your passion and mine was golf. We just realized there was a big gap in the market with respect to technology,” says Eldridge. “Golf is very old school and there was still that old school mentality. So we just wanted to bring technology to the course and make it more fun. That’s when the idea was spawned.”

Eldridge then teamed up with Foursum’s chief technical officer Adam MacDonald and another co-founder Louis Melanson. The company started with the free Foursum Golf app, which has a GPS that can provide distances to holes and hazards, and the ability to follow friends, follow pros, compare statistics, and climb leaderboards.

The app took off and still today has around 100 downloads per day. But like many startups, Foursum realized that though they had a lot of dedicated users, they needed to make money.

“It’s great to build a golf app and to be able to talk about golf every day and use the product. It’s fantastic, but you got to build a real business. It’s not just even amassing a huge user base,” says Eldridge. “You’ve got to figure it out really quickly. I think the days of just getting a bunch of users and trying to figure out how to monetize them are long gone. So for us, we needed to recognize very quickly how we were going to generate real revenue and build a real business.”

Screenshot of the Foursum Golf app.
Image: Submitted

Foursum realized that their value wasn’t in the app itself, but in their technology that’s designed for the golf industry. So for the past couple years, Eldridge says the company has been forging a partnership with some big names in golf.

He wouldn’t give names or specific details due to confidentiality and the nature of some of their contracts but says the Foursum will be publically announcing some of these partnerships at the end of January 2018.

Though Foursum now considers itself a golf technology company as opposed to just an app, Eldridge says the success of the app played an important role in making new partnerships in the industry.

“That helped tremendously because those people are using it. Anybody that’s in the golf industry loves golf and they’re golfers,” he says. “Otherwise, what are you doing in this industry? For some people, it’s like watching paint dry, so you really have to love it.”

With their new focus on tech partnerships, last year Foursum opened an office in New York. The company is still headquartered in Moncton and they also have a few staff working remotely from Toronto. Eldridge says they have eight staff in total (including himself) and they’re currently looking to hire more engineers to be based in New Brunswick.

“We are growing. We’re looking for engineers and for talented people. They don’t necessarily need to love golf,” he says. “They certainly need to respect the game and have that mindset. We do want to hire great people in New Brunswick.”