A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology
Nextdoor Raises $60 million In Funding To Bring Neighbors Together (GigaOm)
The two-year-old neighborhood-focused social media company Nextdoor has announced a $60 million fundraising round, led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Tiger Global Management. According to company statistics, the number of neighborhoods using Nextdoor has jumped 400% in the last year, bringing the total number of active neighborhoods on the website to more than 22,500.
Do Small Businesses Need a Website? (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: The website is the richest online repository of compelling information about a business, but it probably isn’t its primary means of attracting customers. Rather, customers who find you via Google Maps or Facebook may need to refer to your website in the event a third party search doesn’t provide enough information to make a buying decision. The website serves as a last stage effort to win business that hasn’t already been secured via local search.
First Data Acquires Cardless Customer Loyalty Startup Perka (AllThingsD)
Global payments and e-commerce solutions giant First Data said it has bought Perka, the cardless loyalty mobile app and program. Perka — based in both New York City and Portland, Ore. — will operate as an autonomous subsidiary of the Atlanta-based First Data, and will be run by its current execs and product-development team.
Case Study: Udi’s Pushes Targeted Messages Using Hyperlocal App (Street Fight)
Getting customers to participate in Udi’s Food’s paper-based loyalty program was never a challenge for Angie Hoagland, director of brand development for the Colorado-based company. But as the years went by, it was the lack of data that Hoagland was able to collect from the punch card program that led her to start looking for mobile alternatives.
Yelp Loss Widens, With Costs Eclipsing Revenue (Wall Street Journal)
Yelp posted a wider third-quarter loss while surging marketing costs helped obscure another double-digit revenue increase. Shares of Yelp declined 4.4% to $65.81 in after-hours trading as the company’s earnings came in lower than expected. The site, whose revenue is driven mostly by advertising, posted a 41% increase in average monthly unique visitors from the year-ago period to about 117 million. Active local business accounts rose 61% to 57,200.
Uber CEO Says New Drivers Hurt Business: Poor Service From New Guys Is Definitely ‘A Thing’ (Business Insider)
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has written a long, thoughtful Facebook post about the problems of becoming so big in San Francisco that there are a dwindling number of drivers good enough to provide the kind of top-class service Uber customers have come to expect. All the good drivers — who know how to treat customers properly — have been drawn into the service. So the new, inexperienced drivers now joining Uber are often not that great.
Did Hummingbird Just Kill Your Local SEO? (SearchEngineLand)
Andrew Shotland: Let’s cut to the chase: no, it didn’t. But everyone tells me the Hummingbird stuff really drives the page views these days, so you only have yourself to blame. Google’s Hummingbird algorithm, along with all of the other awesome updates Google has made over the past year, has forced me to reevaluate how I approach a local SEO campaign.
ZocDoc And CareCloud Team Up To Streamline Services For Doctors (GigaOm)
In its first API integration of its kind, doctor appointment booking startup ZocDoc is partnering with cloud-based electronic medical records and practice management company CareCloud. Through the integration, the more than 3,700 doctors using CareCloud will be able to allow patients to book appoints online more seamlessly.
As It Looks Beyond Phones, Nokia Takes A Swipe At Google’s Ad-Driven Maps & Sharpens Its Patent Claws (TechCrunch)
Expect Nokia’s positioning of its HERE digital maps business to focus on attacking Google’s ad-focused business model for digital mapping and location services. “Compared to Google’s less flexible, and advertising driven approach, we believe HERE’s strategy is far better aligned with the needs of a broad range of existing and future customers,” said Nokia CFO Timo Ihamuotila, during a conference call today, following Nokia’s Q3 earnings.
Posterscope and xAd Launch ‘Converged’ Billboard + Mobile Retargeting Capability (Screenwerk)
Traditional out-of-home (OOH) advertising company Posterscope and mobile ad network xAd have joined forces to launch a unique program that will enable the digital retargeting of people who have seen billboards or other OOH advertising in the real world. Billed as a first of its kind “converged media” solution, it heralds more such traditional-digital media marriages in the future.