A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
California Says Uber Driver Is an Employee, Not a Contractor (TechCrunch)
The initial story of the California Labor Commission’s ruling that an Uber driver was an employee suggested that the decision applied to all of the company’s drivers. However, Uber released a statement saying that the decision is “non-binding and applies to a single driver.”
Is Yelp’s Slowing Growth a Function of Mobile’s Adolescence? (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: The apparent slowdown in Yelp’s growth does not necessarily reflect the value of the company to consumers or advertisers. Instead, it exposes the growing pains of a mobile ecosystem which lacks the necessary infrastructure to accommodate the weight of more mature companies.
Airbnb Is Said to Seek $1 Billion More in Financing (New York Times)
Airbnb is in talks to raise $1 billion in venture capital, valuing the company at $24 billion. If the financing closes, Airbnb will more than double its valuation of $10 billion from just over a year ago. The company has garnered nearly $800 million in funding to date.
Report: Local Merchants Embrace Digital, but Need Plenty of Help (Street Fight)
David Card: In the connected local economy, digital techniques will be the primary means of navigation for the customer journey everyone talks about. The 2015 Local Merchant Report, a survey of 500+ SMBs and VSBs, helps suppliers better understand merchants’ usage of and attitudes toward digital marketing and e-commerce.
Square’s Restaurant Delivery App Caviar Rolls Out Fastbite Service in New York (Venture Beat)
In Fastbite’s first expansion since being acquired by Square in April, an affordable and fast food delivery service will be available to New Yorkers through the Caviar app. Fastbite offers two to three meal options daily and promises to deliver meals in under 15 minutes for less than $15.
Washington Post’s Gazette Community Sites Were Stuck in a Print Past (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: I was shocked to hear last week that Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post was closing its Gazette community news sites in suburban Maryland. But if I had been paying closer attention to the fast demographic and lifestyle changes in those suburbs, it might have seemed a little more obvious.
Google Links Mobile Ads to Desktop Purchases and Vice Versa (Ad Age)
Google began measuring cross-device conversions in 2013. Now it’s adding the more traditional ads it serves on others’ sites and mobile apps to the mix, which means that advertisers will get a better idea of whether the banner ads they’re buying all over the desktop and mobile web led to a product purchase or some other conversion.
Petco Launching On-Demand Delivery Service With Instacart (LA Biz)
San Diego-based Petco said the service, now available in 14 cities, provides customers with a selection of roughly 13,000 products, including food, treats, toys and supplies for pets ranging from dogs and cats to fish and birds. It is accessible through a web portal and mobile app.
Bookindy Is a Chrome Extension That Hijacks Amazon to Let You Buy From Your Local Bookstore (TechCrunch)
Bookindy hijacks Amazon to let you browse books on the e-commerce giant’s site as you normally would. However, alongside Amazon’s own pricing, the price of the same book available from your local bookstore is displayed, with the option to also purchase locally.