A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology
Food Delivery Merger Stirs Concerns (Wall Street Journal)
Popular online restaurant delivery services Seamless and GrubHub agreed to merge in May — starting a food fight with New York’s top law-enforcement official. The two startups have such a strong hold on the Manhattan market that joining forces could have created a local monopoly, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Monday.
As Bezos Takes Over Wash Post, Will D.C.’s Merchants Advertise With the Enemy? (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: The Post built its now-shrunken publishing might by providing a marketing medium for the bricks-and-mortar stores in the D.C area that the paper’s new owner Jeff Bezos — and other online retailers — have spent the past couple of decades steadily grinding into dust. One has to wonder whether those businesses that remain will really want to give their precious marketing dollars to the same man who is eating away at their market share at his “day job.”
Apple Beefing Up Maps With Crowdsourcing, “Ground Truth” Hires (Apple Insider)
While Apple is actively recruiting for scores of new full time jobs related to Maps, it also plans to enlist the support of its installed base of 400 million iOS users with an opt-in invitation to “Help Improve Maps” in iOS 7. Apple benefits from anonymously storing coordinate information because it helps the company verify how accurate its driving time estimates are, by comparing them to the actual time it takes users to arrive.
Why Brands Need a Local Voice on Facebook (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: Street Fight recently caught up with Brand Networks’ chief executive, Jamie Tedford, to discuss the evolving local opportunity for brands on Facebook, the value in maintaining both a “brand” and “local” voice on Facebook, and the need to create a more responsive (and decentralized) approach to social media.
UrbanSpoon To Focus On Quality Restaurant Reviews After Selling Rezbook To OpenTable (TechCrunch)
By selling its reservation system, Urbanspoon owner IAC needs to refocus. Ask.com CEO Doug Leeds will take the lead on creating more editorial content, and tells us that he ultimately wants to become the established brand for restaurant information.
5 Tools That Bring Web-Like Analytics to Offline Locations (Street Fight)
It isn’t chance that e-commerce retailers like Amazon are generating billions of dollars in online sales. Digital commerce businesses are utilizing big data analytics to measure shopper behavior, click-through rates, and page views when designing their online sales outposts. Here are five hyperlocal vendors bringing web-style analytics into the real world.
Angie’s List Acquires Denver-based Tech Startup BrightNest For $2.65 Million In Cash (Denver Post)
Online review giant Angie’s List announced Monday that it has acquired Denver-based tech startup BrightNest for $2.65 million in cash. Founded in 2011, BrightNest provides free online tips and tools for home maintenance.
Becoming the “Operating System for SMBs”: A Conversation with Swipely (BIA/Kelsey)
The goal in branching into payment operations in Swipely CEO Angus Davis ’ words, is to become the operating system of the SMB. In the tech world, we’ve watched barriers to entry fall for startups including capital and technical requirements (i.e. AWS), abundant seed capital and the app economy. But during this time, SMB upstart requirements remain high as ever.
Menu Dashboard Locu Launches Publisher Platform, Makes Its Data Available To All (TechCrunch)
Locu, the increasingly popular menu and price list dashboard for restaurants and local merchants, today announced that it has opened its publisher platform to any online publisher who is interested in using its data. With its new publishing platform, third-party sites can now use the company’s data to embed its menus, price lists and other information about businesses on their sites.
LivingSocial Not Materially Hurt Yet By New Gmail, Says Citi (Wall Street Journal)
While the changes to inboxes of so many Gmail users could be meaningful to the still-private daily deals website, there isn’t yet a material impact on its results, according to a report from analysts at Citigroup who recently met with executives of LivingSocial. Gmail has separated users’ accounts into three buckets that weed out “promotional” and social media emails from what its algorithms deem as “primary” emails.