A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Intuit to Buy Bill-Payment Service Check Inc. for $360 Million (Wall Street Journal)
Intuit has agreed to buy bill-payment service Check Inc. for $360 million, according to two people familiar with the situation. Check is the latest tech startup to be snapped up by Intuit as the finance-software maker expands its suite of tools for individuals and small businesses through acquisitions.
Why Airbnb Is Interested in Local Search (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: Street Fight recently caught up with Lenny Rachitsky, a product manager at Airbnb and previously the founder of Localmind, to talk about the role of local discovery in Airbnb’s product, and the challenge in building technology which will ensure that guests have that same authentic local experience in a surrounding neighborhood as they do in the places they stay.
Google Close To Snapping Up Satellite Startup Skybox Imaging For $1B+, Say Sources (TechCrunch)
Google is closing in on a deal for Skybox Imaging, a satellite company that specialises in recording very detailed landscape pictures and video. Google’s interest in Skybox had already reached an advanced stage several weeks ago, with the two meeting in at least three rounds of acquisition talks, one source tells us.
5 Ways Hyperlocal Technology Can Save Malls from Extinction (Street Fight)
Given their position in the marketplace, hyperlocal vendors are uniquely able to help physical stores fight back against the changing tide. By using features like geo-targeting, indoor tracking, and mobile messaging, brick-and-mortar retailers can band together and increase their chances of survival. Here are five ways that hyperlocal technology can potentially save shopping malls from extinction.
Investor Talk on Uber’s Valuation Hits as High as $17 Billion (Wall Street Journal)
The bids for Uber’s funding round rolled in this past week, and the price for the on-demand car service seems poised to steeply rise. Several investors have stepped up during the bidding process, offering valuations near or above $17 billion, people familiar with the matter said.
Sponsored Content: Syndicated Commerce — Bridging the Gap Between Content and Commerce (Street Fight)
Nimble Commerce: When done right, ecommerce is one of the most lucrative options for publishers challenged not just with creating compelling content, but also with generating revenue through content-based display advertising. The publishers who adapt to the trends of ecommerce will thrive and become leaders in the new economy. Those who don’t will become unsustainable and disappear.
Apple Maps’ Expanding Data Sources (Screenwerk)
When Apple first launched its own maps a couple of years ago people tried to figure out which data vendors and sources the company was working with. Then last night, Chad Eisenhart, who’s part of Max Minzer’s Local Search group on Google+, pointed to a new Apple Maps copyright page, which shows a considerably longer list than the original.
Why Foursquare Should be on Everyone’s Phone (Guardian)
Alex Hern: The world has changed since it launched in 2009, and the idea of letting all your friends know where you are doesn’t have quite the same cachet in 2014. Which is a problem for Foursquare, because even though the public’s image of the company has stayed the same, what it makes has come a long way.
‘Glassholes’ Use Google to Destroy a Restaurant’s Rating (Gawker)
In the year or so since Feast opened, the restaurant earned high four-star ratings on both Yelp and OpenTable. But the neighborhood blog EV Grieve says the numbers dropped after Feast asked a walk-in customer named Katy Kasmai to remove the discomforting front-of-face apparatus late last month.
Commerical GPS Turns 25: How the Unwanted Military Tech Found Its True Calling (Mashable)
It’s hard to imagine in this paranoiac age of electronic eavesdropping, by nefarious civilians, corporations and Big Brother government, but at one time the military actively fought against implementing arguably the most important spy tech of all time — GPS. Not only did the military finally agree to build the GPS system, but President Ronald Reagan directed the Department of Defense to declassify it as well as actively aid and abet commercial GPS development.
Local Tech Platforms Uncover Neighborhood Secrets (Forbes)
Some expected that off-shoring and consequent “big box” low-prices would be the death knell for local businesses. Now that narrative is shifting, as online digital platforms are enabling individuals and small businesses to act like large ones, connecting with suppliers and customers wherever they may reside.
5 Questions For Beacon Providers (TechCrunch)
Mark DiPaola: From concert venues to your neighborhood grocery store, beacons are ushering in an age of touchless, context-based mobile experiences for savvy consumers. There have been plenty of exciting announcements touting beacons in 2014, and enormous interest in the field. However, there is also confusion about how to actually use these devices at scale.