A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.
Patch Co-Founder Leaving AOL to Join a Startup (Wall Street Journal)
Jon Brod, a veteran AOL Inc. AOL +0.68% executive who co-founded the company’s Patch network of local news sites, is expected to leave AOL early next year to join a startup, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Brod has long been close to AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong. The two are co-founders of Patch, which was launched in 2007 and acquired by AOL after Mr. Armstrong took the reins of the Internet company in 2009. Mr. Brod joined AOL at the same time.
Conference Notebook: The Future of Local Is the Marketplace, Not the Message (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: The local market has seen a seemingly endless flood of startups come online over the past few years, with many building the next iteration of last year’s feature. But as the market matures, and later-stage startups look to expand their addressable markets, the industry is starting to coalesce.
Tracking Technology Sheds Light on Shopper Habits (Wall Street Journal)
The Future of Privacy Forum, a Washington, D.C., think tank, estimates that about 1,000 retailers, from tiny boutiques to Macy’s Inc., have outfitted their aisles with sensors to monitor shoppers’ paths. The stores hope that insights from the data will give them an edge over competitors, including online merchants.
MomentFeed Nabs $5.5M in Funding to Scale Social for Multi-location Brands (Street Fight)
MomentFeed announced this morning that it has closed a $5.5 million Series A funding round led by Signia Venture Partners. Robert Blatt, who was quietly installed at MomentFeed’s new CEO earlier this year, told Street Fight that the new funding would go toward further scaling MomentFeed’s platform.
iBeacon Pioneers Estimote Raise $3.1M Seed Round (TechCrunch)
Jakub Krzych, founder of Estimote, has announced a $3.1 million seed round raise from Innovation Endeavors, Betaworks, Bessemer Venture Partners, Birchmere Ventures, Valiant Capital Partners and others. The company is already shipping its small Bluetooth products, called Beacons, to retailers and they expect a huge rush in orders as they line up large clients next year.
ApartmentList’s Big Bet On Mobile (PandoDaily)
The two-year-old bootstrapped profitable housing rentals search platform emerged as the first real challenger to Craigslist in a decade, completed its first acquisition, and recently brought in its first outside investment in the form of a $15 million round. At the beginning of 2013, ApartmentList didn’t even have a native mobile app. Now, Android represents roughly two-thirds of ApartmentList’s mobile traffic.
Benjamin Franklin, Social-media Pioneer (Medium)
Tom Standage: Social-media ecosystems, in which information is passed horizontally from person to person along social connections, date back to Roman times. And more than two centuries before Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and the rest, another social-media environment arose in colonial America. It consisted of an interlinked network of local newspapers—and its animating figure was Benjamin Franklin.
Postmates Brings Its 1 hour Delivery Service To Washington, DC, Launches Its Android App In Beta (TheNextWeb)
On-demand delivery service Postmates is expanding to its fourth city: Washington, DC. Starting today, anyone within the serviced areas will be able to order anything from participating merchants and receive it within an hour.