A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
DoorDash Struggles in Quest for $1 Billion Valuation (Wall Street Journal)
Food delivery company DoorDash has sought to become the next startup with a $1 billion valuation. Instead, it may have to settle for much less, another sign VC investors are retreating, especially in over-saturated markets like delivery. DoorDash chief Tony Xu recently told investors that the company is now seeking a valuation closer to a prior round that priced the company at $600 million.
Rite Aid Preps One of the Largest Beacon Activations (GeoMarketing)
Rite Aid is revamping its mobile app as part of a plan that includes one of the most extensive beacon rollouts to date. As of last fall, Rite Aid had beacons installed at all of its 4,600 U.S. stores, said Gerard Babitts, the chain’s senior director of digital marketing. He said that proximity platform inMarket, which reaches 38 million monthly shoppers, was running the program.
The Goldman Sachs Note Behind the Theory that Apple has Figured Out How ‘to Starve Google’s Core Business Into Irrelevance’ (Business Insider)
Most people believe that Apple’s recent move to downgrade its mobile advertising product, iAd, is a sign that iAd failed to gain traction with advertisers and that Apple has officially stopped trying to compete as a mobile ad business. But there’s another theory: that the downgrade was part of a much bigger, bolder Apple strategy to crush Google.
How the Tech Emerging From CES Could Impact Local Advertisers (Street Fight)
Lynn Tornabene: While some of the consumer-facing products that made headlines won’t hit store shelves for months, there was plenty to learn from the show for anyone involved in media, software, content, and design. Here’s a look at how some of these technologies could impact advertising planning and creation right now.
Google Business Chief: I Wake Up and ‘Worry About Competition’ (Recode)
Speaking at a conference in Munich, Google’s Philipp Schindler offered repeated examples of how the company was playing nice with European media companies and regulators, arguing that Google was a willing partner and touting its recent mobile publishing platform as an example. His comments on competition shed light on how Google sees threats to its core business, and how it’s pushing back on antitrust charges in Europe.
Feastly Co-founder: ‘We’re Looking to Become the Largest Dining Establishment in the World’ (Street Fight)
Feastly wants to connect you with a specific chef instead of a restaurant, so you can have a unique meal prepared wherever you want to eat it. Street Fight recently caught up with Feastly’s co-founder Noah Karesh and advisor Lem Lloyd to talk about the thinking behind the service.
Marketing in the Moments, to Reach Customers Online (New York Times)
As people flit from app to app online, they have little patience for any interruption. Moments increasingly are all companies that buy and sell online advertising have to market against, and those companies are taking aim at these fleeting instances.
General Motors Salvages Ride-Hailing Company Sidecar for Parts (Bloomberg)
General Motors is following up its $500 million bet on Lyft with another far less costly move to fortify itself against the rise of Uber. The automaker has acquired the technology and most of the assets of the San Francisco-based ride-hailing pioneer Sidecar Technologies. GM is also bringing on board around 20 employees from the Sidecar team.
Beacon Technology Company Estimote Raises $10.7 Million Series A (TechCrunch)
Estimote, a company whose beacons and accompanying software provide indoor location technology to some of the country’s largest retailers, as well as 65 percent of the Fortune 100, has now closed on $10.7 million in funding. The round will help the business scale to meet the needs of its current customer base, around half of which is retail, and fund R&D efforts.
WhatsApp Is Nearing a Billion Users — Now It’s Time to Find the Money (Wired)
Mobile messaging startup WhatsApp, purchased by Facebook almost two years ago, is experimenting with ways of generating revenue via the myriad businesses that use the messaging app. “We’ve done really well in the consumer space, but there is [another] aspect of communication as you go through your day: You want to communicate with businesses,” said WhatsApp founder Jan Koum. “We’ve taken SMS technology for consumers and improved it. Now, we want to do the same with commercial messaging.”
Less Than Half of Consumers Are OK With Swapping Data for Deals (AdAge)
Lots of people belong to grocery store loyalty programs, but they’re not necessarily comfortable with the way their data might be shared, according to a new Pew Research Center study on consumer data and privacy. Less than half of those surveyed said it was acceptable for companies to share their shopping data with third parties.
The 4 Types of Cities and How to Prepare Them for the Future (Harvard Business Review)
The prospect of urban innovation excites the imagination, but messy truth is that cities are not the same, and even the most innovative approach can never achieve universal impact. Most cities can’t pay directly for “smartness,” and often they can’t even finance basic infrastructure, so innovation in many situations has to be led by private capital with a focus on interventions that pay for themselves.