A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
FiveStars Picks Up $14 Million to Challenge the Loyalty Punch Card (All Things D)
FiveStars, a loyalty program for local retailers, has raised $13.9 million in a first round of funding. Instead of expecting retailers or consumers to adopt new technology, the product integrates into a merchant’s point-of-sale system, which is that big clunky box sitting on countertops.
LevelUp Now Has $21M to Take on the Squares of the Mobile Payment World (TechCrunch)
Mobile payment service LevelUp, an off-shoot of Boston-based SCVNGR, announced this morning that it has raised $9 million from T-Venture, the venture capital arm of Deutsche Telekom. LevelUp users can pay with their mobile device of choice at 3,000 participating merchants, which include Ben & Jerry’s, Quizno’s and Johnny Rockets, and more than 200K users spend a total of $2 million per month using LevelUp
Is Facebook Stories the Next Patch, Flipboard, HuffPo or Something Else? (Paid Content)
Facebook Stories, a new original content site that will focus on a different theme each month, is intended to highlight Facebook users’ stories. But with a former Time magazine reporter overseeing an editorial team, does the company have something bigger in mind for Facebook Stories?
The Fall And Rise Of Mobile-Local Advertising (MediaPost)
Today, mobile ad inventory is more plentiful than ever thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, but the proportion of inventory with latitude/longitude accuracy remains limited. The reason: some smartphones restrict access to GPS capabilities to only those apps that need it for purposes other than advertising.
LocalBonus Raises $900,000 To Provide A Universal Loyalty Program For Anyone With A Credit Card (TechCrunch)
New York City-based LocalBonus offers up a “universal” loyalty program that doesn’t require users to download an app, checkin to a location, or carry around a punchcard to get points. Instead, it ties LocalBonus loyalty points to purchases made with a user’s debit or credit card.
Placed’s ‘Location Analytics’ Part of Compelling New Trend (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: Companies like PlaceIQ, Factual and now, Placed, are using location to capture or infer other information about audiences or audience interests for ad targeting. In a sense these companies turn the concept of location on its head; it’s location not for location’s sake but as a proxy for something else.