A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Square to Raise $100 Million at a $6 Billion Valuation (New York Times)
Square, the San Francisco e-commerce start-up, plans to raise at least $100 million in a new round of venture capital funding. The new round of financing would value the San Francisco-based start-up at $6 billion — a 20 percent increase from Square’s $5 billion valuation nine months ago.
Digital First Media Will Explore Sale of Papers (Poynter)
Digital First Media has hired UBS Securities LLC to help it determine what it calls “strategic alternatives for the Company’s business.” That could involve a sale of some or all of the company’s news products, which include 76 daily papers and 160 weekly publications.
7 Strategies for Using Mobile to Drive In-Store Sales (Street Fight)
Mobile commerce is driving nearly $40 billion worth of sales for retailers today, with 84% of consumers now using their devices before or during real world shopping trips. Here are seven strategies that retailers of all sizes should consider as they begin using mobile to drive purchases.
Apple Deal Sheds Light on McDonald’s Digital Transformation (Mashable)
How did the Golden Arches, not an outfit known for its association with cutting-edge technology and gadgets, get on Tim Cook’s radar? It turns out the partnership was the fruit of a year-long effort that began with the hiring of Amazon exec Atif Rafiq last October.
Washio Discovers a Hidden Local Market in Dirty Laundry (Street Fight)
The astronomical ascent of Uber has spawned a deluge of copycats, appropriating the taxi company’s on-demand model for other industries. In Washington D.C., a small startup called Washio has built a thriving business in one of the most unlikely verticals of all: laundry.
BIA/Kelsey Finds SMBs Top Social Use (NetNewsCheck)
Small and medium-sized businesses reported using social media, more than any other type of media, to promote their businesses, according to a new study from BIA/Kelsey. Facebook dominates SMB use, with 55.1% of SMBs reporting they have a Facebook page for business use, and 20.0% reporting they have run a Facebook ad or promoted post.
Greg Sterling On The Future Of Local Search (LocationInsider)
Local search is evolving into a kind of discovery, a search and discovery capability”, says Greg Sterling, who is a thought leader on how to connect the digital and physical worlds for ten years now. Meeting him in Berlin last week, we spoke to him on how retailers can connect their brick-and-mortar stores to digital services and on what will be the next big things in Location-based Marketing.
Venture Capitalist Sounds Alarm on Startup Investing (Wall Street Journal)
“I think that Silicon Valley as a whole, or that the venture-capital community or startup community, is taking on an excessive amount of risk right now—unprecedented since ’99,” said Bill Gurley, a partner at Benchmark, referring to the last tech bubble. Gurley, an investor in Uber, Zillow, and OpenTable, suggested in an interview that Silicon Valley has taken on too much risk. (Subscription required)
Why On-Demand Delivery Services Failed In The 90s (Business Insider)
Tanner Hackett: 15 years later, a new breed of on-demand delivery companies is back on the scene and garnering enormous sums from sophisticated investors. Yet the business models and market fundamentals of today are so profoundly different that On-Demand 2.0 businesses are poised not only to succeed, but to change consumer behavior at an unprecedented pace and scale.
Airbnb Faces New Threat in New York From Housing Coalition (Airbnb)
A coalition of local and state political leaders in New York gathered this morning on the steps of City Hall in Manhattan to announce the formation of an anti-illegal hotels group targeting the business practices of Airbnb and other short-term and vacation rental companies.
Be Wary of Doctor-Rating Sites (USAToday)
The public can rate almost everything on the Internet today: books, hotels, restaurants — and even doctors. But while your chances of getting a great meal at a 5-star restaurant are pretty high, receiving excellent care from a 5-star doctor is less certain.