A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.
Shopify Raises $100 million Series C To Expand Offline Into general Commerce (GigaOm)
Shopify has made its name and accumulated 80,000 businesses as customers by providing a simplified ecommerce and inventory system, but now it’s moving offline. The company is expected to announce a $100 million Series C funding round Thursday led by OMERS Ventures and Insight Venture Partners to provide offline commerce services for businesses.
How Yahoo and Intuit Plan to Win With Small Businesses (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: Major companies have started to turn their gaze to the small business market, looking to cash in on a segment that has long eluded some of technology ‘s biggest players. During Interactive Local Media in San Francisco Wednesday, two Web 1.0 giants – Intuit and Yahoo – laid out their strategies to position themselves as the go-to source for small business software.
AOL’s Tim Armstrong Hints at Impending Patch Partnership (AdAge)
When AOL’s Patch cut hundreds of employees and shuttered dozens of sites this summer, the hyperlocal news behemoth seemed headed towards the scrap heap. But it may instead be moving towards a partnership, according to remarks made by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong at a UBS conference Wednesday morning.
Case Study: Jersey Mike’s Integrates Mobile Ordering with Loyalty Program (Street Fight)
When it comes to hyperlocal tools, the whole is often greater than the sum of its parts. That’s what Jersey Mike’s chief marketing officer Rich Hope has discovered since launching a redesigned mobile application that integrates online ordering with a customer loyalty program earlier this year. “I don’t think anybody has combined the loyalty program and online ordering yet and completely integrated the two,” Hope says..
Square Acquires Evenly, A Venmo Competitor For Sending And Receiving Payments With Friends (TechCrunch)
Square has just announced that it has acquired Evenly, a company that was built to make it easy for friends to send and receive payments for splitting bills and other expenses. The company was founded in 2012, and was similar in concept to Venmo, an NYC-based startup that was acquired by Braintree last year.
Amazon Confirms San Francisco Launch of AmazonFresh Grocery Delivery Service (AllThingsD)
Amazon announced today that its AmazonFresh next-day and same-day grocery delivery service is expanding beyond Seattle and Los Angeles and into San Francisco. With Fresh, Amazon will deliver foods such as fresh fish and produce, as well as an array of other products, including electronics and toys, that it is storing in its warehouse facilities, which have also been outfitted for refrigeration.
Check-ins With A Commercial Twist: Rewards given for retail visits (AdWeek)
A new commercial check-in mobile ad product is now available to retailers. SessionM, a Boston-based digital ad firm, developed the offering for its hundreds of clients with apps, which are now able to push rewards to consumers’ smartphones. The service works by sending messages to smartphones for brands to alert consumers about where they can buy a product, such as Leap Motion pinging users with a promotion at a nearby Best Buy.
LifeLock Acquires Mobile Wallet Platform Lemon For $42.6 Million, Launches LifeLock Wallet (TechCrunch)
Lemon, a digital wallet platform which allows users to store their ID, payment, loyalty cards and more on their smartphone, has been acquired by identity theft protection service LifeLock for approximately $42.6 million, the companies are announcing today. LifeLock is also now launching a new application called “LifeLock Wallet,” which is based on Lemon Wallet Plus technology.
Researchers Create A More Accurate Alternative To Wi-Fi For Tracking People Through Walls (GigaOm)
Back in June, MIT researchers revealed they had figured out how to use Wi-Fi to track moving objects through walls. Today, the same team announced they have refined their system to be even more precise by switching to radio signals. Based on how long it takes a signal to return, WiTrack can calculate an object’s distance from the antennae and map movement.
New Documents Show How The NSA Infers Relationships Based On Mobile Location Data (Washington Post)
As we reported last week, the National Security Agency is collecting location information in bulk — 5 billion records per day worldwide — and using sophisticated algorithms to assist with U.S. intelligence-gathering operations. By correlating an officer’s cellphone signals to those of foreign nationals in the same city, the NSA is able to figure out whether anyone is moving in tandem with the U.S. officer.