A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
DoorDash Raises $127 Million in ‘Down’ Round (Wall Street Journal)
Delivery startup DoorDash has raised $127 million in its latest funding round, which took months to complete because investors have soured on lofty valuations. Sequoia sought to drum up investment in the startup at a valuation of $1 billion in October, but ultimately DoorDash settled for a valuation closer to $700 million, a so-called “down round” since the company sold its shares for less than during its March 2015 funding.
Can the Billy Penn Model for Local News Work Beyond Philadelphia? We’re About to Find Out (Poynter)
Mobile-first, events-focused, extremely active on social media — in less than two years, news startup Billy Penn has emerged as a convener and chronicle of Philadelphia, at once covering the city’s critical issues and attempting to rally its people around them. Now it’s teaming up with America’s largest newspaper company, Gannett, to see if that model will work in other cities, too.
How Retailers Can Bring Home the Beacons (Street Fight)
Claudio Schapsis: Beacons will become standard when retailers use them to identify their businesses in the same fashion they publish their address or phone number. They will also become a standard when the industry starts treating them like a standard.
Yahoo Ad Revenue to Drop Nearly 14% This Year (eMarketer)
Yahoo’s worldwide net digital ad revenues will fall 13.9 percent this year to $2.93 billion, from $3.28 billion in 2015. That means its share of the overall digital ad market will fall to 1.5 percent, from 2.1 percent last year. Both search and display ad revenues for Yahoo will drop by double-digit percentages this year.
Foursquare’s Attribution Solution a Step in the Right Direction, but Still Leaves Gaps for Marketers (Street Fight)
JB Brokaw: Foursquare recently stepped into the analytics business with Attribution Powered by Foursquare, intended to help brands measure how media impacts foot traffic in brick-and-mortar locations. For the moment, this solution only reports the basic demographic data of the visits: age, gender, and location information. While it’s an interesting new way to bridge the gap between online and offline, it still doesn’t account for actual sales. There is still plenty of headroom for innovation when it comes to creating a holistic, multi-channel attribution strategy.
The Uber Model, It Turns Out, Doesn’t Translate (New York Times)
Farhad Manjoo: We are witnessing the end of the on-demand dream about price and convenience. Many companies marketed themselves as clever hacks of the existing order. They weren’t just less headache than old-world services, but because they were using phones to eliminate inefficiencies, they argued that they could be cheaper, too — so cheap that as they grew, they could offer luxury-level service at mass-market prices. That just isn’t happening.
Shopify Doubles Down on ‘Buy’ Buttons Despite Sluggish Start (Recode)
Last year wasn’t the year of the “Buy” button that some envisioned, but Shopify is betting that 2016 could be. The e-commerce company, which makes software that small businesses use to sell products, is expanding the number of online sales channels its customers can sell through as shopping on mobile devices booms. The new channels include product discovery app Wanelo, home design site Houzz, and coupon app Ebates.
Sensing Vulnerability, Out-of-Home Goes on the Attack Against Digital Display (Marketing Land)
Traditional media has gone on the offensive against digital advertising. In a report called This is What Reality Looks Like, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America uses online fraud, viewability, bots, and ad blocking to question the effectiveness and value of online display advertising. The effort is part of the trade group’s “feel the real” campaign seeking to demonstrate the value of out-of-home advertising.
Lyft To Uber: The Race Is On (Fast Company)
There is a prevailing view in Silicon Valley that technology-enabled marketplaces create winner-take-all competitions: think Amazon in ecommerce, Google in search, Facebook in social. The examples are powerful, the logic often deemed irrefutable. Uber is clearly the leader in ride sharing; by this calculus, Lyft must be the loser. Here, an in-depth look at how Lyft is fighting that theory.