A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Square Continues to Diversify With Launch of Booking Service (Fortune)
Square, the mobile payment startup, has plans to help small businesses with an online scheduling feature announced Monday. Dubbed “Square Appointments,” the booking service illustrates the company’s desire to continue diversifying its offerings past mobile payments.
ReachLocal CEO: Company Got ‘Distracted By Shiny Things’ (Street Fight)
After a turbulent twelve months, which saw two founders depart and its stock price plummet, ReachLocal appears to be working on a comeback. Sharon Rowlands, the turn-around expert who took the helm as chief executive four months ago, remains as critical as anyone, but she believes that the company is on track to get things moving in the right direction in 2015.
Lyft Drives Uber Competition With False-Order Allegations (Bloomberg)
Lyft, a San Francisco-based ride-sharing startup, released data yesterday that said employees of rival Uber have ordered and canceled more than 5,000 Lyft rides nationwide since October. A spokeswoman for Lyft called the situation “unfortunate,” as requests for rides that don’t take place “wastes a driver’s time and impacts the next passenger waiting for that driver.”
Online Meal Delivery Firm Foodpanda Raises $60 Million (Recode)
Foodpanda, an online take-away food delivery company active in dozens of emerging markets, said it had raised $60 million in new financing from a group of investors. The company is one of a stable of e-commerce and financial services ventures created by Berlin-based Rocket Internet and remains in global race to stake out the highly local food take-away market.
OpenTable Expands Mobile Payments To New York, And Soon, 20 More Cities (TechCrunch)
OpenTable said that it’s now expanding its mobile payments service to a number of restaurants in New York and plans to introduce payments to 20 more cities before the end of 2014. The service, which launched in February, competes with similar efforts from a number of companies ranging from smaller startups to payment giants like PayPal.
Services Join Products in Goodzer’s Local Marketing Platform (Street Fight)
Goodzer has been making it easy for consumers to find products in local stores since launching in 2011. Soon the company will be doing the same with services. Last month Goodzer announced that it is adding “enhanced local services content” to its database of more than 2.5 billion products.
Back To Square One (Fast Company)
Jack Dorsey’s dazzling startup promised to transform the credit and finance industry with a sweeping, digitized vision of the future. After losing $100 million, has his company lost its edge?
Fiverr’s $30m Funding Shows That The Taskrabbit Model Is Growing (Venture Beat)
Fiverr announced that it has raised $30 million in a third round of institutional funding to continue supporting the new version of its services marketplace that it released today. Fiverr is part of the recent trend of marketplaces helping put more order and efficiency in the freelancer economy along with TaskRabbit, oDesk, Freelancer.
A Campaign to Pique the Interest of Those Who Revel in a Deal (New York Times)
The website that aggregates coupons for e-commerce sites, RetailMeNot, is introducing a national advertising campaign designed, in part, to increase the use of its mobile app. The goal is to capture, what a Forrester analyst calls, the company’s “golden opportunity in in-store retail.”
Rain, Romance, and Mobile: Just Eat’s Recipe for Growth (Wall Street Journal)
Boosted by a growing mobile strategy, and a particularly rainy start to the year, shares in Just Eat PLC rose 8% on Tuesday after the online restaurant food delivery company reported a 58% jump in revenue in the half-year ended June and said it is confident this momentum will be maintained.
Yellow Pages Firm Hibu Announces Plans To Shed Hundreds Of Jobs (BBC)
Yellow Pages owner Hibu has announced plans to shed hundreds of jobs in the UK as part of a restructuring drive. The company has proposed ending its telesales operations in Glasgow, with the loss of about 180 jobs, and its customer service operations in Manchester, with an unspecified number of job losses.