A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Local Services Marketplace Thumbtack Raises $30 Million (TechCrunch)
Thumbtack, a marketplace that connects local professionals with clients, has raised a $30 million Series C round from Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global Management. Unlike with TaskRabbit, customers tell the platform exactly what they are looking for, and service providers have 24 hours to bid on the job.
Conference Notebook: Mobile Commerce Without the Wallet (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: During a conversation at the M1 Summit in New York Tuesday, American Express’s CEO Kenneth Chenault attributed the recent failure of some of the most-hyped mobile payments products to a lack of focus and an inability for these services to equal the established ease of the credit card. But he remained confident that a fundamental transformation in the payments industry was still underway.
Direct-Response Tactics Take Majority of US Marketers’ Budgets (AdAge)
Digital ad spending in the U.S. will cross $50 billion this year, according to a new report from eMarketer. While both spending categories — branding and direct response — are expanding, the latter is growing at a faster clip, commanding 59.1% of the digital total in 2014.
Local Mobile Search in U.S. Still Outpacing Other Major Global Markets (Street Fight)
Christian Gaiser: We recently culled data from more than 13 million users of our mobile shopping platform in six countries. Not surprisingly, because of its high saturation of smartphone users, the U.S. market reports the highest percentage (60%) of all our search traffic from mobile devices. We expect that to increase as smartphone sales continue to grow.
Marketers Get On Board the Offline-to-Online Data Train (AdAge)
Marketers are finally starting to connect their offline data dots to the web, and some of the biggest names in digital and data including Google, AOL and Acxiom, see dollar signs. All three companies made acquisitions this month in the hopes of capitalizing on a burgeoning trend: turning offline consumer data into a tool for digital marketing.
NoWait Raises $10 Million to Help Diners Skip the Line (Wall Street Journal)
A Pittsburgh startup called NoWait has developed an app that replaces the paper-and-pencil wait list at restaurants with a digital system that allows diners to stay home, or roam wherever they want to, until their table is available. The company just raised $10 million in new venture funding in a round led by Drive Capital.
How Foursquare Could Power the Wearable Future (Wired)
Drawing on new technologies developed by the company over the past year, Swarm can automatically identify your location–at least down to the neighborhood–so that you don’t have to actively check yourself in to a particular restaurant or store. Crowley hopes you’ll just keep it running in the background, as it tracks your movements from place to place.
To Raise Its Game In Travel Big Data, Sabre Launches New Developer Portal, Advanced APIs (TechCrunch)
The travel data company is launching a new portal which gives access to some 150 APIs, testing tools, documentation, prototypes and sample code, as well as a new set of APIs focussed on e-commerce and semantic searches. The developer portal is a first for Sabre: The company says it will be the first time that it’s brought together a lot of these services into one accessible place.
More Business Travelers Stay with Airbnb (Economist)
Airbnb, a short-term apartment and room-rental service, is an increasingly popular choice for business travelers, according to a report form Concur. The money that road warriers spend with Airbnb has gone from “zero” two years ago to nearly $1m this quarter. That is only around a 1% market share, but the growth rate is eye-popping.
xAd: ‘Location Is the New Cookie’ (Screenwerk)
Mobile network xAd introduced a new sort of data visualization and offline analytics tool that shows consumer movements in and around businesses in real time. Called Footprints, it captures and reports the movements of millions of anonymous users throughout the US throughout the day.