A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Bezos-Backed Pro.com Raises Another $14 Million to Help Renovate Your Home (Businessweek)
The so-called local services market is exploding as investors hunt for the next batch of startups. Pro.com, a year-old company run largely by Amazon.com veterans, said it has raised an additional $14 million from Seattle venture firms Maveron, the investment firm co-founded by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.
Will Local Media Consortium Save Lee From Knife’s Edge? (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: Lee Enterprises is meeting its Chapter 11 debt obligations, recently stretched out debt payments and at lower interest, and has cut expenses by $285 million. But with Lee mostly likely having wrung out all cost cutting, the pressure is on it to keep increasing digital ad revenues.
Uber Open to ‘Debate’ With European Regulators Over Ride-Sharing Rules (Wall Street Journal)
A senior executive of ride-sharing service Uber said the company is willing to consider discussing regulation of its services in Europe. He cited the state of California as an example of where regulation hasn’t hurt consumer appetite for ride-sharing services.
Bringing Tablets To Restaurant Tables Nationwide Nets E la Carte $35 Million (TechCrunch)
On the heels of a nationwide rollout with Applebee’s, E la Carte has raised $35 million to bring its tablet technology to more restaurant tables around the country and around the world. Already in 100,000 Applebee’s nationwide, the company has inked distribution deals with a number of other national chains.
5 Local Marketplaces for Housecleaners (Street Fight)
Marketplaces aimed at providing consumers with easy ways to quickly find and book local housecleaners and home services providers are heating up, with frontrunners like Handy and Homejoy enjoying major investments from well-known venture firms like Revolution, Google Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures.
Ebay Teams Up With Autobutler To Launch A Car Repair Quote Comparison Service In Germany (TheNextWeb)
eBay has teamed up with Autobutler, a site for collecting quotes from local car garages, to launch a similar service through its online marketplace. The service gives drivers the ability to request quotes from three nearby businesses for car repairs and maintenance.
Investors Sue Yelp, Accuse Company of Exaggerating Potential Growth (Eater)
The suit alleges that Yelp made a series of “materially false and misleading statements” in regards to the true nature of its reviews and ‘firsthand’ experience of users. It also claims that Yelp lied about the robustness of its algorithms and processes designed to screen unreliable reviews, and about its financial growth prospects.
Eventbrite Now Has An All-In-One App For Event Organizers Called Neon (TechCrunch)
Eventbrite’s new Neon, launching in the app store today, combines the functionality of both its organizer side apps At the Door and Entry Manager into one single smartphone app. The new app also gives organizers the ability to track sales and get analytics insights that were previously not available in the other apps.
Skyhook Plays the Beacon Game, Building Context Into Its Wi-fi Geo-Location Platform (GigaOm)
Skyhook Wireless has built one of the world’s largest databases of Wi-Fi access points, creating a geo-location network that can home in on Wi-Fi signals to pinpoint your smartphone on a map. Now it wants to use that technology to help developers design smarter location-aware apps and to help marketers better target their advertising.
MapQuest’s New Commute App Helps Optimize Drive Times (SearchEngineLand)
Just as the name suggests, Commute is a stand-alone app intended to help drivers manage and optimize their daily driving to and from work. At any point during the day, outside of normal commute hours, users can open the app and get traffic conditions and ETA estimates.