A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Yext Raises $50 Million to Build Local-Business Directory (Wall Street Journal)
Three years after overhauling its business model, the New York-based startup Yext has raised a large round of funding and is predicting its first profit next year. The company, which provides online-marketing tool for brick-and-mortar businesses, closed $50 million in funding valuing the eight-year-old firm at $525 million.
PayPal’s Gauthier: Retailers Needs to Bring Together Products, Places and People (Street Fight)
For PayPal’s Patrick Gauthier, the future of commerce isn’t online — it lays at the intersection of places, product, and people. During a morning keynote at Street Fight Summit West Tuesday, Gauthier, the GM of emerging retail services at PayPal, said that the challenge for retailers today is to reach consumers across mediums as much as dominating online or brick-and-mortar.
Facebook Courts Small Business: ‘We Don’t Want to Take a Ton of Money’ (AdAge)
On Tuesday, Dan Levy, Facebook’s director of small business, announced that 30 million small business owners how have active Facebook pages, updated at least once a month, an increase of 5 million from the fourth quarter of last year. Facebook is trying to actively court small and mid-sized businesses, and perhaps undo some of the damage after recent newsfeed changes have diminished the reach of organic posts.
Facebook’s Ted Zagat: ‘Clicks Don’t Matter’ (Street Fight)
During a keynote at Street Fight Summit West on Tuesday, Facebook’s Ted Zagat said that there was “zero correlations” between online clicks and offline spending. The long-time president of the reviews company admitted that the social networking giant could do a better job of emphasizing the relationship between digital engagement and reach to its local merchant advertisers.
What Apple’s Fingerprint ID Changes Mean for Its Big Mobile Payments Plans (Recode)
Jason Del Rey: Apple gave no hint that shopping apps will be able to let their customers pay for stuff with their fingerprint in place of entering in traditional payment information such as a credit card number. Still, industry insiders expects Touch ID to eventually play a role in letting you pay for stuff in partner apps or even in the physical stores of partner retailers.
How Brands Like Taco Bell Are Buying Into Local (Street Fight)
As director of media at Digitas, the digital agency of record for Taco Bell, Eric Perko was the mind behind the fast food restaurant’s massive breakfast menu launch earlier this year. Perko spoke with Silk.co’s Alex Salkver at Street Fight Summit West on Tuesday about his agency’s role in developing Taco Bell’s breakfast campaign and where he think digital marketing is headed.
Study: More Than 30 Percent Of Consumers “Mobile Only” (MarketingLand)
Greg Sterling: According to a new study, more consumers are starting with mobile, rather than simply using mobile devices when they’re “ready to buy.” More than half of users in the study were engaged in mobile research at home and a similar number reported starting their purchase research with mobile devices.
Starwood, IHG Executives Voice Concerns About Airbnb (Skift)
InterContinental Hotels Group and Starwood executives are concerned about losing market share to Airbnb and appear unsure about the peer-to-peer apartment sharing site’s long-term impact. Simon Turner, president of global development at Starwood Hotels and Resorts, compared the risks that Airbnb poses to the same concerns that executives felt at one time about video conferences.
OpenTable Brings Mobile Payments to D.C. (Washington Business Journal)
Online restaurant reservation service OpenTable has quietly launched its mobile payment platform in the D.C. area. The company began piloting the program, which allows you to make payments through the Open Table app, in San Francisco in February.
The Reverse Yelp: Restaurants Can Now Review Customers, Too (Businessweek)
Dimmi ResDiary, a Sydney-based restaurant reservation system, allows participating restaurants to track and rate customers’ dining “performance”—what they ordered, how much they tipped, whether they made any demanding requests, and anything else that might prepare waiters for their arrival. Think of it as a reverse Yelp—the restaurants’ way of reviewing you.
Want To Know More About Your Neighborhood? Ask This App (Fast Company)
A new app called Enquire makes it easy to get real human perspectives about local issues. “It’s about getting more human answers when you’re looking for information about your neighborhood,” says Maxime Leroy, CEO and co-founder of Enquire.