A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.
Local Services Marketplace Thumbtack Raises $4.5 Million (TechCrunch)
Thumbtack, which operates an online community marketplace where people can easily list and book local services, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding. The company says 240,000 local merchants (carpenters, life coaches, wedding photographers, babysitters, math tutors, makeup artists and whatnot) have listed on Thumbtack.com to date, or roughly half as many registered merchants one can find on Yelp.
Patch Dispatches Little Green Truck to Primary States (Capital New York)
Outside the debates in Manchester and Concord, N.H., this past weekend, there was a green RV bearing Patch’s logo. According to a Patch spokeswoman: “It’s our 24-hour news operation home base, manned by our local and regional editors,” she said. “It will be hitting candidate town halls and appearances, polling stations, rallies—any place where there’s reporting to be done.”
TaskRabbit Acquires Service Provider Directory SkillSlate (TechCrunch)
Collaborative consumption startup TaskRabbit has acquired SkillSlate, which allows people to search for local businesses that provide the services they want. This will be TaskRabbit’s first acquisition. As part of the acquisition SkillSlate’s top executives will join upper management at TaskRabbit.
How The Death Of All Those Groupon Clones Will Affect Yahoo’s Revenue (Business Insider)
Ben Schacter at Macquarie Research writes: “Advertising from Daily Deal sites on the homepages of the sites we analysed continued to decline throughout 4Q, accounting for ~2% of total ads in 4Q, vs. 3% in 3Q’11 and 8% in 2Q”11. During the second half of the quarter, we only encountered one Daily Deal ad (from Groupon, on Yahoo’s homepage), with no appearances from any of the smaller operators.”
2011: The UK Hyperlocal Year in Review (Online Journalism Blog)
2011 was a busy year across the hyper-local sphere, with a flurry of activity online as well as more traditional platforms such as TV, Radio and newspapers. Across the board, funding remains a challenge for many. But new models are emerging, with Daily Deals starting to form part of the revenue mix alongside money from foundations and franchising.