A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.
Could Square be Collateral Damage in Carl Icahn’s War on Ebay? (Quartz)
Carl Icahn just revealed his latest target: Ebay. But the auction payment company might not be the ultimate casualty if Icahn gets his way. It emerged that America’s loudest activist investor has built an 0.8% stake in Ebay, and is pushing the company to spin off its online payment processing business, PayPal.
Why Ecommerce Companies Are Eyeing Brick-and-Mortar Retail (Street fight)
Over the past year, a string of ecommerce firms have invested in brick-and-mortar locations in an attempt to cash in on local markets that still account for over 90% of retail spending in the U.S. Manish Chandra, the founder the online fashion marketplace Poshmark, says physical locations will play an important part in ecommerce strategies moving forward.
Groupon Adds 20,000 Properties To Its Hotel Feature (Skift)
The company added some 20,000 hotels to its Groupon Getaways with Expedia product, which now offers a mix of limited-time flash sales and hotels booked in the more standard way. Groupon says its flash sales offer discounts of up to 60% off published rates. For the first time, travelers can search for hotels by destination on Groupon Getaways and input desired dates.
5 Hyperlocal Scheduling Platforms for the Healthcare Industry (Street Fight)
Hyperlocal vendors are changing the way consumers navigate the healthcare industry, offering tools for finding local providers who are covered by specific insurance plans. Not only do these platforms benefit patients by providing a streamlined way to secure appointments with qualified local physicians, but they also benefit healthcare professionals by filling empty appointment slots and decreasing the percentage of no-show patients.
Tokyo Launches Cab-Calling Mobile App (Wall Street Journal)
On Tuesday, the Tokyo Hire-Taxi Association introduced a mobile app service that allows users to connect with around 6,500 cabs in central areas of the city. The app works on iPhones and devices using Android and Windows operating systems through Microsoft’s cloud computing system.
Yext’s Howard Lerman Shares the Secrets of Starting Up (Forbes)
At his corner office near Madison Square Park, Howard Lerman is now deep into his fourth company, the result of abrupt, decisive shifts in strategy — the sort that transformed GymTicket.com into Yext. Investors, who have bet $66 million on two incarnations of the business since 2006, haven’t yet seen a dime. But with this latest iteration, Lerman is pretty sure he has it right.
The Converging Paths of Mobile Advertising (AdAge)
David Berkowitz: In mobile media, branding and direct response don’t compete with each other for marketers’ resources. Mobile branding tends to compete with traditional media such as TV, while mobile direct response budgets may come from areas such as direct mail, affiliate marketing and, potentially, search.
Zettle, Europe’s Square, Releases An SDK For Direct Mobile Payment Integration On iOS (TechCrunch)
iZettle — a mobile payments startup based out of Sweden that has been referred to as the “Square of Europe” for its small piece of hardware that attaches to a smartphone or tablet — is today taking one more step to making its service more ubiquitous in the nine countries where it operates: it’s releasing an SDK that will directly integrate iZettle mobile payments into third party applications.
StyleSeat Helps 200K Beauty & Wellness Professionals Grow Their Business (VentureBeat)
StyleSeat has closed $10.2 million in funding for its online marketplace where you can find and book for beauty and wellness appointments near you. Every professional’s profile on the site comes with personal information, the services they provide at what price, examples of their work, and recommendations from other customers.