A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
Neighborhood Network Nextdoor Raises $21.6 Million (Reuters)
Neighborhood social network start-up Nextdoor has raised another $21.6 million, even as many investors shy away from the sector in the wake of troubled Facebook initial public offering last year. The new funding includes $15 million from Greylock Partners, whose partner David Sze will be joining Nextdoor’s board.
How to Create a Great Vertical Directory (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: It’s tough for a start-up to break into the top echelon of local search players and become a one-size-fits-all solution like Google or YP. The great opportunity that exists in the space lies in serving special interests or special use cases better than anyone has before. Foursquare and Yelp are highly visible examples of this, but other very successful, vertically oriented directories exist, flying mostly under our radar.
With New Alike Mobile App Acquisition, Yahoo Pushes Into Local Discovery (AllThingsD)
Alike, a mobile app that helps users discover nearby venues and places to visit based on their interests, was acquired by Yahoo on Tuesday. The app is focused on an area in which many companies are dabbling right now: Mobile-based location discovery.
Mobile Coupons Gain Traction, But QR Codes Are Fading (Street Fight)
The future of mobile coupons is nearly here and it looks bright, according to a recent study conducted by RadiumOne, which found that nearly half of women ages 35 to 54 would like to receive mobile coupons via SMS. Meanwhile, other methods of coupon delivery are rising in popularity as well.
Verve Mobile Raises $14M, Invests In Location-Based Tech (Media Post)
Location-centric mobile ad network Verve Mobile on Wednesday announced closing $14 million in a Series C venture financing, bringing its total raised to date to $30 million. With the new funding, the company plans to invest in refining its location-based technology, which targets mobile advertising according to a grid of city block-sized geographic areas.
Square Enters Another Coffee Chain, Blue Bottle (New York Times)
To pay for Burundian coffee and olive oil rosemary shortbread, customers of Blue Bottle, the small coffeehouse chain in California and New York, can now use Square. Coffee shops like Blue Bottle have been formative for Square’s business. Sightglass Coffee Roasters in San Francisco and Café Grumpy in New York have been testing grounds for Square’s products. Mr. Dorsey was an early investor in Sightglass.
What Nextdoor is Doing Right With Hyperlocal and Patch is Doing Wrong (GigaOm)
Mathew Ingram: Most of the startups and networks focused on hyperlocal or community news and information try to be as open as possible, but Nextdoor is taking the exact opposite approach and making the barrier to entry for users as high as it can.
MomentFeed Gets $1.8M More, is Quietly Powering the Local Efforts of Some Major Brands (PandoDaily)
MomentFeed quietly closed a $1.8 million “Seed extension” financing at the end of January, adding to the $1.2 million it raised in July 2012. The company launched out of beta in January 2012 and has since attracted national brands like 7-Eleven, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, JCPenney, and the Walt Disney Resorts and retail stores.
How the Media Scene has Changed in Colorado Since the Rocky Mountain News Folded (Poynter)
In 2008, Colorado’s main content providers were the same traditional print and broadcast news organizations that had been providing the state with news for decades. That all began to change when the Rocky Mountain News folded in February 2009 after publisher E.W. Scripps Co. failed to find a buyer for the paper.
CEO John Donahoe Says eBay Is Building the Uber for Delivery (AllThingsD)
“We are building the Uber for delivery people,” Donahoe said this morning at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. “We think we can do it at scale. No one single retailer can do it on their own, so we are building it for the retail industry and using our technology capabilities to build it.”
How China’s Foursquare Plans to Evolve With a 300M-pound Gorilla in the Room (PandoDaily)
What do you do if you’re a location-based social app living in the shadow of a new entrant that suddenly has 300 million users and, seemingly, the attention of the entirety of the world’s biggest Internet market? Pivot.
LevelUp Launches Sweetgreen Rewards, Its First Custom-Branded Payment and Loyalty App (The Next Web)
Mobile payments platform LevelUp has released today its first custom-branded payment and loyalty app for Sweetgreen, a collection of 16 farm to table salad restaurants in the DC area.The app, called Sweetgreen Rewards, allows customers to pay for their meals using an iOS or Android device.