Street Fight Daily: Delivery Service Raises $44M, Uber Partners With ‘Transformers’

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology

InstacartInvestors Pour $44 Million Into Instacart as Google Is Forced to Take Notice (Recode)
A little more than a decade after the first generation of grocery-delivery companies collapsed, the industry seems poised to finally take off. The two-year-old Instacart is announcing this morning that it has raised a giant new $44 million round of equity financing, with Andreessen Horowitz leading the investment.

At Tesla, a Peek Into Retail On-Demand (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: The company has developed a retail and marketing strategy aimed at getting people into one of its three fully electric models regardless of whether they can afford, or even are interested in buying, a luxury car. The model draws on some of the work of the legendary Apple’s Ron Johnsonas well as the emerging phenomenon of on-demand technologies such as Uber.

Paramount Turns to Uber for ‘Transformers’ Promotion Pick Up (Variety)
Paramount Pictures and Western Star trucks are partnering with carpool service Uber to promote “Transformers: Age of Extinction.” Starting today in Dallas, “Transformers” fans and Uber users will have the opportunity to request a ride form the film’s iconic Optimus Prime, which is customized by Western Star 5700 trucks.

6 Waitlist Management Tools for Restaurants (Street Fight)
Eager to eliminate the organizational challenges and financial liabilities that go along with traditional reservation systems, restaurants are increasingly turning toward digital platforms that allow diners to stay at home, or shop at nearby businesses, until their tables are ready. Here are six platforms that restaurants can use to manage their waitlists.

In New Jersey, With $2 million From Knight, the Local News Lab Launches to Seek Revenue Models (Nieman Journalism Lab)
The Local News Lab launches today, supported by a $2 million grant awarded by the Knight Foundation in February. The New Jersey-based organization will incubate six local journalism sites in an effort to “try to understand and develop viable revenue models for both nonprofit and for profit news organizations.”

Facebook Testing Graph Search on Mobile Web (InsideFacebook)
Not long after Facebook announced Graph Search about a year and a half ago, the big questions was when it would be available on mobile. It appears that Facebook is taking steps toward this, as Inside Facebook has discovered a test of Graph Search on mobile web. Facebook has previously been testing it on the mobile app, as well.

Marketers See Shift in Search From Direct Response to Branding (AdWeek)
A study released from Google today reveals that marketers are moving towards search campaigns that build top-of-mind awareness. The search giant’s new report with Ipsos MediaCT finds that branding-focused ads elevate awareness by an average of 6.6 percentage points.

iBeacons Usher In The Contextual Shopping Era (TechCrunch)
According to a study by inMarket, the use of beacons in retail stores caused a 19x increase in interactions with advertised products, a 16.5x increase in app usage in-store and a 6.4x increase in the likelihood that a shopper kept an app that sent them a beacon message on their phones.

British Airways’ ‘Magic’ Billboards Win Direct Grand Prix at Cannes (AdAge)
One of the pre-festival favorites, British Airways’ “Magic of Flying” by OgilvyOne, London, took home the Grand Prix in the direct category at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Digital billboards in key London locations featured creative that encouraged passers by to look up and spot the aircraft flying overhead.

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