Street Fight Daily: Apple Acquires Embark, Uber’s Huge Valuation

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology

mzm.lewdovznApple Acquires Embark, Another Mapping App With Transit Information (TechCrunch)
Apple has acquired yet another transit mapping application. This time it’s Embark, a Silicon Valley-based startup that builds apps for different cities to provide information about routes and stops. This acquisition follows the purchase of HopStop, another app that offers transit directions to users.

Uber’s Breathtaking Valuation: Is It Really Different This Time? (Forbes)
Uber has raised more than $360 million at an eye-popping valuation of $3.5 billion. It’s incredible for a company that didn’t exist when President Obama was inaugurated for his first term, but it also raises the question of whether such a number can possibly be justified.

Yelp CEO Insists The Site’s Reviews Are Accurate (Forbes)
Yelp CEO and co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman defended the site’s user reviews during a recent interview with Charlie Rose: “There’s a lot of ways to try and dismiss the user base, or the power of Yelp or meaning of Yelp, but if you look at the demographics, they are off the charts. They are very attractive,” Stoppelman said.

Forecast: Majority of Mobile Ad Spend to Go to Search (Search Engine Land)
In an updated digital and mobile advertising forecast, eMarketer has projected that mobile search will be worth more than $15 billion in the US by 2017. Accordingly, it will lead all other types of mobile advertising, similar to its current position online. Display advertising will follow with $14.5 billion by the end of the forecast period.

Google Patent Shows Location-based Unlock Actions for Android (VentureBeat)
You may one day have to do different actions to unlock your Android phone based on where you are, according to a patent filed by Google. The patent explains a technology that would let Google determine where your phone is (which it already can do), and be able to tell when it is in a “familiar” place.

Why Hyperlocal Has (Mostly) Flopped (Fortune)
The struggles of various projects beg the question: Why is hyperlocal so hard? It shouldn’t be in theory, at least where news is concerned. The ongoing decline of small, local newspapers presents what seems like a significant opportunity for ventures like Patch.