A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
In Raising Cash, Square Heads for $6B Valuation (CNBC)
Square, the payments provider that turns any smartphone into a credit card terminal, is in the process of raising capital at a $6 billion valuation. The San Francisco-based company is aiming to reel in about $200 million, with part of it coming from the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, said the sources.
Why the Mobile Industry Needs to Address Its Data Problem (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: A report earlier this week detailed the widespread use of surveillance software by governments to track the movements of cellphone users both within and outside their borders. The news highlights yet another example of a dangerous schism developing in a data-driven advertising-technology industry between the reason consumers share data and the way it is eventually used.
This is Uber’s Playbook for Sabotaging Lyft (Verge)
Uber is arming teams of independent contractors with burner phones and credit cards as part of its sophisticated effort to undermine Lyft and other competitors. The effort, which Uber appears to be rolling out nationally, has already resulted in thousands of canceled Lyft rides and made it more difficult for its rival to gain a foothold in new markets.
6 Ways to Use Location Analytics Data in Retail Design (Street Fight)
Hyperlocal vendors are changing the way the in-store shopping experience looks and feels, providing retailers of all sizes with the answers to questions like where customers are going in their stores, which promotions or displays are attracting the most attention, and which departments are being bypassed altogether.
7-Eleven to Install Belly Digital Loyalty System Across U.S. and Canada (Recode)
The convenience store chain, whose venture capital arm invested in digital loyalty company Belly last year, says it will install the company’s iPad-based customer loyalty program in a quarter of all of its U.S. and Canadian stores by the end of this year.
Interview With Bill Gurley: The Guy Who Backed OpenTable, Yelp, GrubHub, Twitter, Zillow And Uber (Forbes)
What do OpenTable, Yelp, GrubHub, Twitter, Zillow, and Uber have in common? Bill Gurley – and, of course, his firm, Benchmark Capital. With a deep background in engineering, capital markets, and venture, he’s got all the bases covered when he talks to entrepreneurs about building great companies that will be successful for decades – not just years.
Journalism is Doing Just Fine, Thanks — It’s Mass-Media Business Models That are Ailing (GigaOm)
Mathew Ingram: Some argue that the rise of the internet has destroyed — or severely crippled — journalism, but all it has really done is disrupted traditional mass-media business models. Journalism itself has never been healthier, and new players are finding new models.
Uber’s Latest Experiment: Lunch Delivery (Mashable)
Uber continued its never-ending series of experimental services with the launch Tuesday of a lunch delivery program called UberFRESH. The option is available to anyone in Santa Monica, California, through the Uber app and lets users order meals from a select few restaurants to be delivered in an hour or less.
Watch Out AAA: Urgent.ly Goes Uber, Takes on Roadside Assistance (Local Onliner)
Urgent.ly provides flat-rate repair truck assistance rather than charging annual insurance-like fees, and has done hundreds of service calls and is set to go nationwide. The Washington D.C.- area company announced the release of its free roadside assistance app for iOS Tuesday.