A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.
Foodpanda Gobbles Up $20M in Fresh Funding to Fatten Its Global Pawprint (TechCrunch)
Rocket Internet-incubated startup foodpanda and its affiliate hellofood have received an additional $20 million in funding from investors including Phenomen Ventures. The new capital will enable foodpanda, which now partners with 22,000 restaurants, to expand its delivery marketplace for restaurants by launching in over 40 markets by the end of 1Q 2014.
An Opportunity for Mobile in the Middle of the Marketing Funnel (Street Fight)
The mobile industry has struggled to find its place in a crowded marketing landscape, sandwiched between an entrenched television industry, which controls billions in branding dollars, and a formative paid search sector that dominates the ready-to-buy consumer. But Michael Hayes, the executive in charge of turning UberMedia into a profitable business, believes that the mobile industry could find its sweet spot selling to consumers in the middle.
Last-Minute Millennials Drive Mobile Bookings, So Make it Easy (Skift)
Millennial business travelers don’t think twice about dropping some serious cash on last-minute bookings for hotels and flights—not to mention room service, seat upgrades, and in-flight entertainment. Some 52 percent of millennial business travelers book on mobile devices, according to Expedia and more than 60 percent of mobile hotel bookings happen within 24 hours of a stay, according to Orbitz and Travelocity.
Consolidation Watch — Where to Look for Deals in Local Tech (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: The first half of 2013 saw total investment activity (including both M&A and private financing) grow from a year earlier, as the number of deals stayed flat but total reported deal value jumped from $5.2 billion to $7.2 billion over the same period. Expect to see more deals — both large and small — in the local space as big firms search for a foothold in the industry and host of maturing startups look for the exit.
How User Reviews Are Gutting Brands (MediaPost)
For marketers used to persuading consumers to choose their brands by using small increments of emotion and sleights of hand, the jig has been up for years now. Between sites solely devoted to organizing user reviews or brands themselves incorporating consumer opinions into their models, consumers are so informed that they have become increasingly resistant to marketing’s manipulation.
Why is Local News Innovation Struggling Financially While National Thrives? (Poynter)
Steve Waltham: Venture capitalists and other professional investors have little interest in businesses focused on one community. News is tough enough to make money on but at least if you’re national you can generate massive numbers of ad impressions and the possibility of Amazonian reach.
London Buses Will No Longer Accept Cash Payments from Summer 2014 (TheNextWeb)
Starting this summer, you’ll no longer be able to pay for a bus ticket with cash in London. It’s a bold move that means passengers will only be able to complete their journey with an Oyster and contactless payment card, prepaid or concessionary ticket.
When Plan A Doesn’t Work (New York Times)
Rebekah Campbell: Three years ago, I noticed that the daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial were starting to wane, and I thought I had a better model and created a company called Posse. Two years in, we’re still learning. I made almost every mistake that someone can make with a start-up, the biggest being the notion that I was introducing a great idea.
Data Stories Need Context for Hyperlocal Audiences (BBC)
Damian Radcliffe: Data journalism is an increasingly prominent part of the journalistic toolkit. But as a concept it can sometimes be a little hard to understand until you start to see examples. This may be particularly true at a local level where datasets are typically smaller and the stories potentially less obvious.