Street Fight Daily: Amazon Moves into Groceries, Foursquare Sells to SMBs

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.

2011_3_11_amazonAmazon Plans Major Move into Grocery Business (Reuters)
Amazon is planning a major roll-out of an online grocery business that it has been quietly developing for years, targeting one of the largest retail sectors yet to be upended by e-commerce, according to two people familiar with the situation. While food is a low-margin business, Amazon could outperform similar online grocery services by delivering orders for higher-margin items like electronics at the same time.

Yelp VP Ghaffary: 2.5 Trillion in Commerce Will Remain Offline (Street Fight)
Contrary to Marc Andreessen’s recent claim, offline retail is not going to die, said Mike Ghaffary, VP at Yelp, during the morning keynote at Street Fight Summit West in San Francisco Tuesday. Ghaffary argued that the majority of the over $3 trillion in commerce will stay offline — and subsequently, the largest opportunity isn’t in bringing commerce online, but in using the web to support it offline.

Foursquare Testing Paid Promotions With NYC Small Businesses (AdAge)
Foursquare has started allowing a “handful” of local New York City merchants to promote their store listings within the service, meaning they will be able to target Foursquare users in the vicinity. It’s the first time Foursquare has generated revenue from small businesses and a foray into the fast-growing local mobile ad market, estimated at $1.2 billion in 2012 according to BIA/Kelsey.

Waze VP: What Search Did for the Internet, Maps Will Do for Mobile (Street Fight)
As the local market readjusts to a mobile-first world, executives from Waze, ESRI, and Placed discussed the role of mobile analytics and mapping in a changed scenario at a panel discussion during the Street Fight Summit West in San Francisco Tuesday. Acquires Online Laundry Services Startup Brinkmat To Expand Beyond Food Deliveries (TechCrunch), the New York City-based company whose technology platform lets local merchants easily provide e-commerce and delivery services, has acquired Brinkmat, a startup also based in New York that’s built an online scheduling and ordering platform for local laundry and dry cleaning businesses.

What Investors Look for in a Hyperlocal Startup (Street Fight)
The hyperlocal industry has seen a spurt of big funding news over the past few months with companies like Booker and FoodPanda nabbing double digit rounds. During an afternoon panel discussion at Street Fight Summit West in San Francisco, Alex Ferrara of Bessemer Venture Partners and Sharon Weinbar, a partner at Scale Venture Capital, broke down the way in which they approach investing in the local space.

Could Offline Communities Be The Next Big Thing? (Forbes)
Andy Ellwood: The migration from offline to online of our social lives has taken different manifestations over the past decade and has given the term “social network” a new meaning. The trend of social networks that has caught my eye recently is that of the intentional communities being formed around a specific geographic location.

With the Point-of-Sale, Simple and Open Breeds Success (Street Fight)
During a panel at the Street Fight Summit West moderated by Mark Canon of IBID Strategic Consulting on Tuesday, Patrick Gauthier, Head of Product Strategy, Retail Services, PayPal; Square’s strategic partnerships chief Chuck Kimble, and Clover CEO Leonard Speiser took a deep dive into the delicate dynamics of bringing local businesses’ payments into the cloud.

Tracing the Links Between Civic Engagement and the Revival of Local Journalism (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Dan Kennedy: Over the years, newspaper publishers have responded to the decline of civic life by loading up on celebrity gossip and so-called news you can use, such as personal finance and cooking tips. It’s a losing game, because there are always going to be better sources of such information than the local newspaper.

Goodzer and Wanderful in Partnership for Local Product Data (ScreenWerk)
Local inventory data provider Goodzer announced a deal this morning with Wanderful Media to the product data in its Find&Save local shopping directory. In addition, the Goodzer local inventory data will be syndicated to Wanderful’s publisher and media affiliates (mostly newspapers) “in all of the top 50 designated market areas.

Shopmium Lands $5.6m from Ventech, Accel and ISAI to Crack Retail Shopping and Mobile (TheNextWeb)
Mobile promotions startup Shopmium has announced a $5.6 million Series B round from Ventech as well as previous investors Accel Partners and ISAI. Founded in September 2011 by Eli Curetti, Quentin de Chivré and Philippe Cantet, the startup previously raised $2.1 million from Accel and ISAI in order to connect shoppers and their mobile phones, and it seems they’ve had some success so far.

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