A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
TaskRabbit Takes Another $13M, With Founders Fund Leading the Round (All Things D)
TaskRabbit, the marketplace for personal projects and services, has picked up a round of Series C funding: $13 million led by Founders Fund and including existing investors such as Shasta Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Parters. With this latest round TaskRabbit is establishing itself as the best-funded company in the space it helped create — with a total of $38 million raised to date.
Media Companies have Trouble Finding the Sweet Spot in Hyperlocal Journalism (Chicago Tribune)
The quest to reach readers and advertisers at the hyperlocal level — covering events town by town, neighborhood by neighborhood — has been beset with false starts, red ink and, most recently, an ethics scandal. While the market has identified a need for hyperlocal content, no one has figured out how to make it a successful business.
The Hard Truths of Hyperlocal Journalism Reveal Themselves in Journatic Trouble (Poynter)
Jeff Sonderman: The hard truth of hyperlocal is that it does not scale. It’s time for any publisher who wants to move into hyperlocal to say to themselves, “This is the business we have chosen.” There’s some money there, in small chunks, but not a gold mine.
Harpoen Wants to Be Indonesia’s Next Big Tech Company (WSJ)
As one of Indonesia’s biggest online success stories, Koprol – a location-based social network that was bought by Yahoo – is being shut down, a new location-based platform called Harpoen thinks it can make bucks off of Indonesia’s buddy-based buzz. Harpoen, which lets users drop comments, photos or videos (which it calls “digital graffiti”) at specific locations for others to find, figures it can leverage Indonesia’s enthusiasm for tech to make its products better—and also find ways to make them profitable on a global scale.
Journatic CEO Brian Timpone No Stranger to News Gathering or Questions about Ethics (Chicago Tribune)
It’s not the first time that Timpone, who declined to be interviewed for this article, has been confronted with ethical questions. In 2004, the Washington Post reported how a Timpone-founded legal journal, the weekly Madison County Record in Edwardsville, Ill., was being bankrolled by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as “a weapon in its multimillion-dollar campaign against lawyers” who file what it believes are frivolous lawsuits.
Put That Guidebook Down, WeTrip Brings Real-Time Travel Info to Your iPhone (The Next Web)
The Israeli application, formerly known as Backpack Network, allows travelers to access real-time social-driven feedback and information about where to visit, what to do and where to stay, as well as where to find like-minded people to travel with. Using the mobile application or website, travelers can access and write tips and feedback and contact others traveling in the same area.