A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Groupon Uncorks Its Own Wine Label (Chicago Business Journal)
The Chicago-based deals company has launched its own line of private-label wines, using the cat theme that was one of one of Mr. Mason’s running gags. Groupon plans to serve up four wines through its Groupon Goods merchandise business as a holiday promotion.
SFSNYC: The Rise of Marketing Automation in Local’s Next Act (Street Fight)
Marketing automation isn’t just for the biggest companies in the world anymore. Thanks to companies like Booker, Signpost, Shopkeep, and others, small and medium-sized businesses have access to the data and the tools to reach their customers in smart, efficient ways while minimizing the hassle on the backend.
Can Porch.com Become LinkedIn For Your House? (Fortune)
After only a year, home professionals listing site Porch has grown fast. Now it’s rolling out the next phase of its business, catering to pros with a premium dashboard– for a price. Porch is hoping professionals will pay for extra insights, along with being a “featured pro” on the site; the fee starts at $50 a month.
SFSNYC: Investors Bet on Rethinking Old Categories — Not Creating New Ones (Street Fight)
During a panel at Street Fight Summit in New York Tuesday, Tige Savage, managing partner at Revolution Ventures, and Dave Ambrose, venture investors at Steadfast Financial joined Guardian’s east coast tech editor Dominic Rushe to discuss the growing opportunities — and future challenges — in rethinking traditionally local businesses..
For Location-Tracking Startup, a Data-Privacy Odyssey (Wall Street Journal)
A small startup from Portugal is showing just how difficult it is to launch a tech business these days, especially one that relies on people’s data, as Europe’s data-privacy laws toughen. Movvo, a 30-person startup based in the city of Porto, provides retailers with foot-traffic analytics by tracking cellphones’ radio signals. (Subscription required)
SFSNYC: Is Your MVP a Minimum Viable Channel? (Street Fight)
“Just because you have product/market fit, don’t raise money until you have validated your channel,” said Closely CEO Perry Evans. “We might have been able to be a successful business — but we shouldn’t have been a business that took venture capital. We couldn’t produce the return the VCs needed.”
Clover Designs A New Portable Tablet Cash Register For First Data (GigaOm)
Payment processing giant First Data may not be known for its design chops, but that’s why it bought Clover Networks, a Silicon Valley startup that re-envisioned the staid, old point-of-sale terminal as a sleek tablet system that takes its design cues more from Apple than from Verifone.
SFSNYC: Five Hyperlocal Startups to Watch (Street Fight)
At the Street Fight Summit on Tuesday afternoon, startup investor and mentor Laurel Touby quizzed five founders about their plans for world domination and developing a viable business model to support it. Here’s what we learned.
How The 49ers Are Using Beacons To Help You Find Hot Dogs And Beer (TechCrunch)
Enterprise Wi-Fi provider Aruba Networks officially lit up their homegrown beacon network and accompanying smartphone app at Levi’s Stadium. The deployment now enables a host of location-based services for stadium goers like: quickly and accurately finding concessions, restrooms, and seats with the Levi’s Stadium app.
Uber and Its Shady Partners Are Pushing Drivers into Subprime Loans (ValleyWag)
Instead of mortgages, this time a bubble has formed around auto loans, and reliably ruthless Uber is in the thick of it. Two “partners” in Uber’s vehicle financing program are under federal investigation, but Uber hasn’t slowed its aggressive marketing campaign to get drivers with bad credit to sign up for loans.
Verizon Wireless Under Fire for Ad-Targeting Program (New York Times)
Google and Facebook are not the only companies tracking your online activities to customize ads. Verizon Wireless has recently come under fire from privacy advocates for running a similar program on its cellular network.
What Are the Anti-Apple Pay Merchants Afraid Of? (Recode)
Walt Mossberg: It appears to me that the drugstore chain, and other merchants with which it is allied, are afraid of competition, afraid that I might get hooked on Apple Pay before the drugstore chain and its fellow merchants can come out with their own rival mobile phone payment system, promised for next year.