A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
New York’s Case Against Airbnb Is Argued in Albany (New York Times)
The stewards of the sharing economy think regulators should invent new rules to accommodate their innovative business practices. Regulators think these companies and their customers should accommodate themselves to the old laws. The clash, which is playing out in many cities, is driving an increasingly acrimonious dispute between New York regulators and Airbnb, the largest apartment-sharing company.
Yext Says It Will Be Profitable By 2015 — Here’s How (Street Fight)
Over the past 23 months, the New York-based startup has silenced critics, turning the listing-synching concept into a cash cow that helped the company generate over $34 million in revenue last year. In an interview last week, Yext CEO Howard Lerman told Street Fight that the company expects to generate $56 million in 2014, and hit $85 million — and profitability — by 2015.
Delivery Hero Gobbles Another $85M To Fuel A Price War With Just-Eat (TechCrunch)
On the heels of online food delivery company Just-Eat’s successful IPO in London earlier this month, its big, still-private rival Delivery Hero has raised another mammoth round of funding: a Series F of $85 million, led by a “6 billion dollar global investment fund” that Delivery Hero tells me does not want to be named just yet; as well as existing shareholders.
Revenue Flowing Faster to New Marketing Channels, But Integration Is Key (Street Fight)
Jeff Hasen: A recent advertising report from the IAB found that U.S. interactive advertising revenues hit an all-time high of $42.8 billion in 2013, with digital exceeding broadcast television advertising revenues for the first time ever. But some brands who are succeeding at hyperlocal are integrating legacy channels rather than eliminating them.
Facebook’s “Nearby Friends” Must Work Against the Historical Failure of People Discovery (GigaOm)
Last week, Facebook unveiled a new mobile feature, Nearby Friends, as a way for users to bring their Facebook friendships offline. But other companies have tried the concept before, with lackluster results. Can Facebook break the cycle, or will history repeat itself?
YP Brings Programatic Buying to Local Ads With OpenX Partnership (Pando)
Under the deal, YP will get access to the full OpenX stack, including its ad exchange, supply-side platform, and ad server. The new partnership will enable YP to unify this mobile and Web display ad inventory under a single platform and allow advertisers, for the first time to bid programmatically.
More Than Half of Americans Over 55 Now Own a Smartphone (Recode)
A new Nielsen study found that more than half of adults over the age of 55 now own smartphones, marking the first time a majority of Americans in all age groups have these portable devices. And the vast majority of consumers shopping to replace their mobile phones — 85 percent, to be precise — are choosing smartphones over other, less sexy handsets.
How Airbnb and Lyft Finally Got Americans to Trust Each Other (Wired)
The sharing economy has come on so quickly and powerfully that regulators and economists are still grappling to understand its impact. But one consequence is already clear: Many of these companies have us engaging in behaviors that would have seemed unthinkably foolhardy as recently as five years ago.
What’s Different About Tomorrow’s Mall: You Never Have to Leave (CNBC)
As far as convenience goes, it’s hard for physical retailers to compete with their online foes. But in order to better compete with their Web-only counterparts, physical stores and the malls that house them are aiming to bring the ease of online shopping to the real world, utilizing a new genre of tenants and technologies.
Presence Orb Uses Wi-Fi to Detect if Buses and Bars are Full (Wired)
By listening to the signal your smartphone broadcasts as it searches for Wi-Fi networks, the hope is that Presence Orb will provide an anonymised and aggregated open data stream showing, effectively, where everyone is in real-time. With Presence Orb’s software installed on the ever-increasing number of public Wi-Fi hotspots, you could know exactly how busy a bar will be before you and your date arrive.