A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Priceline Agrees to Buy OpenTable for $2.6 Billion (Wall Street Journal)
Priceline agreed to buy restaurant booking service OpenTable for about $2.6 billion in cash, broadening the online travel giant’s offerings into a new field as some of its more established brands mature. The merger extends Priceline’s customer base to include the 15 million people who book restaurants through OpenTable each month.
Investing in the Future of Shopping (Street Fight)
Jason E. Klein: A few months ago, I predicted in Street Fight that “2014 would be the year that hyperlocal goes indoors,” and “the battle will turn to reaching the shopper walking in the mall and right in front of the shelf.” Simon Venture Group is looking to invest $250,000 to $5 million per company in up to 50 companies over the next 5 years to do precisely that.
With 1 Billion+ Travel Pins, Pinterest Gives Place Search An Upgrade (SearchEngineLand)
Forget the idea that Pinterest is all about fashion photos, cute animals and inspirational messages. The company says it’s now hosting more than a billion Place Pins across four million Place Boards. Together, all this represents more than 300 unique countries and territories.
6 Innovative Ways to Implement Beacons for Marketing (Street Fight)
Brick-and-mortar merchants know they need to step it up to compete against e-commerce retailers, and they know that proximity marketing with indoor positioning technology can be an effective mechanism for driving customer acquisition and retention. Here are six examples of innovative ways that businesses are implementing beacon technology right now.
Location Sharing Startup Glympse Raises $12M As It Looks For More Device Integration (TechCrunch)
Glympse, a location sharing platform that has integrated its real-time mapping and tracking service into messaging apps, cars, wearables and other services, is today announcing a financing round of $12 million. The company will use the money mainly to staff up the business to deal with the interest it’s been getting from outside companies for more deployments.
Yelp Popular After Priceline Bid for OpenTable (Financial Times)
Online reservation and service companies received a fillip after travel booking website Priceline agreed to buy OpenTable, the restaurant reservation service, for $2.6bn. The latest big deal to emerge from the technology sector gave a boost to companies in the same business, with shares in the online guide Yelp leading the way with a 13.8 per cent surge to $74.92.
Google’s Eyes in the Sky (Slate)
Last week Google paid $500 million for Skybox Imaging, a startup that builds tiny satellites that can shoot high-resolution photos and videos of the Earth below. What the company is not telling you is that its drones and satellites could do for the physical world what its search engine did for the Web.
Uber’s Real Challenge: Leveraging the Network Effect (New York Times)
Whether Uber will ultimately become the kind of wildly profitable company that will justify the valuation of $18.2 billion reportedly assigned to it by its latest funding round doesn’t come down to those regulatory battles. The question for Uber as a business boils down to two words: network effects.
The Future Is Off The Map (ReadWrite)
Owen Thomas: The sensors that surround us and the computers we talk to will know who we are. But they will know us in such a limited sense—as a row of numbers in a database in the cloud. They may well save us time, but at what cost to our sense of self, our awareness of being in and of the world?
That Time McDonald’s Launched A Digital Incubator in Silicon Valley (TechCrunch)
The fast food joint with over 300 billion served just opened shop in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. The company’s tech hub at 658 Market Street has reportedly already hired a few engineers from PayPal, Facebook, AOL and Yahoo – and they’re looking to hire at least 20 more.