A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Mobile-Payments Startup Square Discusses Possible Sale (Wall Street Journal)
With losses widening and cash shrinking, representatives of mobile-payments startup Square Inc. have discussed a possible sale to several deeper-pocketed rivals. Over the past three years, the startup has consumed more than half of the roughly $340 million it has raised from at least four rounds of equity financing since 2009.
xAd CEO: Small Businesses Still a ‘Huge, Huge Market’ for Ad Tech (Street Fight)
Location marketing company xAd generated over $65 million in revenue last year, half of which came from small and medium-sized businesses. Street Fight recently caught up with the company’s chief executive Dipanshu Sharma to discuss the challenges in finding recurring revenue in mobile, how location can solve that problem, and where the money would come from to build a lasting local advertising company in mobile.
Facebook ‘Nearby Friends’ Will Track Your Location History To Target You With Ads (TechCrunch)
Facebook says it’s not using its new Nearby Friends feature to target ads yet, but after I asked why it’s tracking “Location History” it admitted it will eventually use the data for marketing purposes. By tracking where you are, Facebook could show you more relevant News Feed stories from friends or Pages nearby.
8 Tools to Send Messages to Shoppers Based on In-Store Movements (Street Fight)
Forty-four percent of shoppers now say they’ve used their smartphones for product research while standing in a store’s aisles, which means marketers who fail to connect with customers through effective in-store messaging are losing out on engagement at a critical time in the buying process. Here are eight tools that merchants can use to send offers or promotions based on their customers’ real-time indoor movements.
OpenTable’s Media Play: Before, During And After Dining (Forbes)
In a recent interview, OpenTable CEO Matt Robertsdetailed why the media assets maintained and enhanced by OpenTable– among which are the search and directory function, information about the restaurant such as menu and location, and user generated reviews – are key factors in the company’s success.
TPG-Led Group Closes $450 Million Investment in Airbnb (Wall Street Journal)
A group led by private-equity firm TPG has finalized an agreement to invest more than $450 million in Airbnb, valuing the home-rental site at $10 billion. The funding round makes Airbnb one of the world’s most valuable startups, matching investors’ price tags for file-storage company Dropbox. and Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi.
Webvan’s Founder Is Back and He’s Building Another Grocery Delivery Business (Recode)
Industry sources say Webvan founder Louis Borders is prepping to finally take another crack at building a successful grocery delivery business. News of Borders’ new business comes as giant tech companies and upstarts have been focusing time and money on building same-day delivery models for groceries and, in some cases, other goods as well.
How Urban Anonymity Disappears When All Data Is Tracked (New York Times)
Information about our innocuous public acts is denser in urban areas, and can now be cheaply aggregated. Cameras and sensors, increasingly common in the urban landscape, pick up all sorts of behaviors. These are stored and categorized to draw personal conclusions — all of it, thanks to cheap electronics and cloud computing, for affordable sums.
Here’s How The Taxi Industry Can Save Itself From Uber (BusinessInsider)
Anthony Weiner: There’s a fierce fight between ride-sharing-app startups and the taxi companies raging around the country, and I think I know a way to make peace, let both sides walk away with a win, and, most important, give the riding public the best of all worlds.
iBeacons Are Ready for Showtime at the Tribeca Film Festival (Mashable)
The Tribeca Film Festival is is taking advantage of one of 2014’s hottest tech trends by integrating iBeacon support in its official iOS app and at venues across New York City. The annual film festival is using iBeacons as a way to alert app users of nearby venues, screening times and offers.