A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Uber Discusses Investment at $12 Billion Valuation (Wall Street Journal)
Uber is in discussions with a group of fund managers for a large investment that could value the startup at more than $12 billion, people familiar with the matter said. The five-year-old company, whose mobile app connects people with drivers for hire, is talking this week to several firms to raise near or above $500 million in funding, these people said.
Watch Out Yelp and Foursquare — Facebook Starts Flexing Its Local Muscles Again (Street Fight)
Justin Moore, an engineering manager at Facebook, offered a full-throated pitch for the company’s local data initiatives during an event Thursday. The Foursquare engineer says a team in the company’s New York office has spent the past two years turning the 32 billion pieces of location-tagged content to create the “riches and largest” place database in the world.
Facebook Lets Restaurants Post Menus to Their Pages (Mashable)
Aiming to keep users on the platform and possibly prompt more ads, Facebook started letting restaurants post menus on their Facebook pages on Thursday. The social networking giant is using Constant Contact’s SinglePlatform, an online listing service that helps local businesses showcase products, photos and menus.
Openings and New Hires at Telemetrics, OPA, Square, and Pro.com (Street Fight)
Every two weeks, Search Influence’s Kelly Benish — who knows practically everyone in hyperlocal — covers some of the latest job changes taking place in this dynamic industry. In this week’s edition, new hires and jobs at PayPal, Signpost, Search Influence, Angie’s List, LiveIntent, hibu and more.
TripAdvisor Begins Using Its Own Restaurant Reservations Tool In Challenge to OpenTable and Yelp (Skift)
TripAdvisor has long hosted abundant reviews about restaurants around the world, but hasn’t done much to monetize it. With the company’s push to give users more options about tours and activities when they are traveling, restaurant reservations represents a deepening of these options for both locals and travelers alike.
Sears Posts Worst Report of a Bad Lot in Retailing (New York Times)
The slide continued on Thursday for the deeply troubled Sears Holdings, whose dismal earnings report not only lacked signs of improvement but also laid bare how few options the company had left. The retailer announced that it would close at least 80 stores this year, a downsizing move it has made in previous years without significant results.
DoorDash Raises $17.3 Million From Sequoia To Expand Its On-Demand Delivery Service (TechCrunch)
DoorDash is one of many on-demand food-delivery startups to crop up over the past few years, but the company has big ambitions to move beyond food. The company just raised a $17.3 million Series A round of funding led by Sequoia, with participation from existing investors Khosla Ventures and Ted Zagat, of Zagat Survey fame.
PwC: Big Marketing Potential in Hispanics’ Mobile Consumption (AdWeek)
A new teport indicates that the Hispanic community is more likely to access coupons and banking services through mobile devices, giving marketers some additional insights into how to best target these smartphone-wielding consumers. A quarter of the Hispanics surveyed said that they used a mobile app to download coupons that can be redeemed in-store compared to 17 percent of non-Hispanic consumers.
Why PayPal Jumped the Software-Hardware Gap (O’Reilly Radar)
O’Reilly talks with Josh Bleecher Snyder, PayPal’s director of software engineering, about the development that went into Beacon , how to guide collaboration between hardware and software engineers, and the importance of software updates that improve a piece of hardware even after it’s in the customer’s hands.
Yelp Reviews Help Track Food Illnesses (New York Times)
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report on Thursday saying that the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene had completed a pilot project that used Yelp reviews to help identify unreported outbreaks of food-borne illness.
The Tech Revolution Is Coming to a Restaurant Near You (Re/code)
Ron Shaich: Most consumer industries have long embraced digital, spurred by Amazon’s entry into nearly every retail category. Restaurants, however, have been slower in their adoption rate. But many food-industry players are going to learn that success requires so much more than just “the next” cool app.
LBMA Podcast: Indoor Location Tech at Waitrose, Motorola’s New MPact (Street Fight)
Top stories of the week include the British Navy & quantum positioning; Freedom Telecare’s PunchPrompt; the Gap’s #summerloves campaign; Square’s shift in focus from Wallet to Order; SinglePoint & Drive Media Network; WhatsAppleBees, an anonymous social network for Applebees patrons; MonkeyParking App; and Starwood Hotels’ Google Glass App.