Street Fight Daily: Square’s Alleged Saboteur, Google Buys Website Builder

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

Square_Logo_PortraitSequoia’s $12B Man Says Someone With ‘Axe to Grind’ is After Square (Upstart)
With billions of dollars on the line in the mobile payments industry, it’s no wonder a major player like Square would have some pretty fierce competition. But someone it would seem, based on comments today by one of the company’s board members, is spreading lies.

Using In-Store Analytics To Counter the Threat from Disruptive Digital Retailers (Street Fight)
Anne Marie Stephen: Online retailers have successfully proven that leveraging analytics drives conversions and improves shopper experience. Indoor analytics provides these same invaluable insights to physical stores, closing the data gap between digital and brick-and-mortar environments.

Google Gobbles Up Restaurant Startup (Wall Street Journal)
Appetas, a two-man firm focused on building better mobile websites for restaurants, has become a bite-sized morsel for Google. Though undoubtedly a small deal for the Internet giant, Appetas fits Google’s ambitions for improving the quality of websites and making it easier to search for local businesses. Both can help generate more revenue from search advertising.

Case Study: Golf Club Brings Back Deal Buyers With Rewards Program (Street Fight)
In her role as manager at Southern Pines Golf Club, Elaine Millar is responsible for the digital marketing strategy for the 18-hole course. Millar uses her rewards program as a promotional tool to keep the customers she gains through local deal sites coming back for future visits after their promotions have been redeemed.

Uber Launches uberFAMILY, a Pilot Service in NYC That Uses Cars With Child Seats (TheNextWeb)
Uber has announced uberFAMILY, a subset of uberX that caters to families with kids. Launching first in New York City, the service offers car seat-equipped vehicles for a $10 surcharge. UberFAMILY, news of which leaked out last week via VentureBeat, uses top-rated drivers from uberX that have been trained and certified in car seat installation.

Restaurant Reservation Service LaFourchette Gobbled Up By TripAdvisor For ~$140M (TechCrunch)
European restaurant reservation service LaFourchette — the so-called OpenTable of France — has entered into agreement to be acquired bytravel site TripAdvisor, with whom it already had a partnership. LaFourchette also sells its software to help restaurants move online, including booking and making better use of their data.

Startups Want to Be the Next Airbnb, Uber (Wall Street Journal)
A few high-profile “sharing-economy” startups are gaining quick traction with users. Yet at least a few dozen sharing-economy startups have failed since 2012, following struggles that ranged from difficulties building a critical mass of supply and demand, to higher-than-expected operating costs.

Another Push to Pay With Smartphones at Vending Machines (New York Times)
A start-up called Byndl is taking a less ambitious approach to mobile payments, focusing only on vending machines. And while the company is a mere minnow compared with Google and the backers of ISIS, it has a few twists that might make it appealing to vending machine operators and the people who buy from them.

Strava, Popular With Cyclists and Runners, Wants to Sell Its Data to Urban Planners (Wall Street Journal)
On Wednesday, the San Francisco-based company launched Strava Metro, which provides data from 90 million bike rides and 24 million runs as of this week — the byproduct of virtual competitions around the world — to help urban planners understand how and where cyclists use public streets. The first customer, Oregon’s Department of Transportation, is paying $20,000 to use the data for a year

Pizza Shop Owner is Using Uber to Deliver Pizzas (Dynamic Business)
Dan Gold, the owner of a pizza shop in Melbourne, has opted to use ride sharing app UberX to deliver his Napoli-style woodfired pizzas to customers. He says he is the first business to use the controversial app for a commercial purpose and will adopt it to routinely service his home delivery customers.

This 21-Year-Old Just Raised Serious Cash for ‘Fever’, His Events App (ABC News)
What separates Pep Gómez from other party-loving 21-year-olds is that for him, it’s a multimillion dollar business. Gómez, who decided to skip college in favor of building Fever, an event discovery app, landed a cool $3 million investment today from top investors such as Flickr CEO Bernardo Hernandez.

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