Street Fight Daily: AOL Unloads Patch, Handybook Buys Exec

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

Patch1AOL Unloads Most of Patch Local-News Site (Wall Street Journal)
AOL has reached a deal to sell a majority stake in its Patch local news network to Hale Global, an investment firm specializing in turnaround situations. Under the deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter, AOL will transfer Patch to a new company majority owned and operated by Hale Global.

Borrell Report Details Legacy Media’s Struggles in the Digital World (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: The good news is that “three-fourths of all advertising dollars this year will go to analog media – despite a decade of maligning by digiterati.” The bad news is that by 2018, pure plays “will sap all their growth.” In this Q&A, CEO Gordon Borrell explains the upside-down numbers.

Handybook Buys Exec in a Deal for the On-Demand World (New York Times)
On Wednesday, Handybook, a service aiming to be the “Uber for household services,” announced that it bought Exec, a San Francisco start-up that lets people book house cleaners via a mobile application. Both companies declined to comment on the details, but a source with direct knowledge of the deal who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about it said the final price tag was under $10 million and paid out entirely in Handybook stock.

Citi Global Head: NFC Will Win Out By End of 2014 (Street Fight)
Near field communication (NFC), the much-maligned technology that once was held as the future of mobile payments, may not be dead yet. Richard Char, global head of digital networks and merchant Services at Citi, believes that two emerging trends will turn the tide for NFC, dissolving many of the infrastructural barriers that have mired its growth.

Jack Dorsey Says The Receipt Is Untapped “Canvas” And “Publishing Medium” (BuzzFeed)
“What if we see the receipt more as a publishing medium — a product unto itself that people actually want to take home, that they want to engage with, be fully interactive with?” Dorsey asked a room of people at the Javits Center today during the National Retail Federation’s annual expo. “What can we build into this canvas that’s actually valuable, that’s independent of the product you just sold?”

San Francisco Cab Drivers are Uber’s Latest Pickup (CNN Money)
The San Francisco Cab Drivers Association, an association for registered taxi drivers that promotes fair working conditions and business practice, reports that one-third of the 8,500 or so taxi drivers in San Francisco – over 2,800 – have ditched driving a registered cab in the last 12 months to drive for a private transportation startup like Uber, Lyft or Sidecar instead. Passengers more and more appear to appreciate these startups’ superior dispatch technology, ease-of-use, and competitive pricing.

Report Says Consumers Interact More With Retail Facebook Pages Than Retail Websites (Retail Experience)
According to a new report from Infosys, consumers engage with retailers on Facebook more than they do on the retailer websites. Nine in 10 consumers say that how much they spend is influenced by their social media engagement with a brand. And Foursquare has virtually no impact on consumer purchasing.

Venga Reserves $1 Million Series A To Create Restaurant Customer Profiles (TechCrunch)
Venga, a DC-based startup, has raised $1 million in Series A financing to help restaurants create profiles of their customers by whipping reservation data, point-of-sale, and other basic information into a soufflé of delicious CRM. The company bills itself as the only “complete guest management platform for restaurants” and essentially takes reservations data and point of sale information to create a customer profile.

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