Street Fight Daily: Lyft Eyes Big New Round, Groupon Sells Beacons

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

10408071_658217267640248_8159858846871515919_nRide-Hailing Service Lyft Is Said to Be in Talks to Raise $250 Million (New York Times)
In the battle over ride-hailing services, Lyft is preparing a counterpunch against Uber, its much bigger rival. Lyft is in talks to raise about $250 million in new financing, putting a value for the three-year-old start-up at $2 billion, people briefed on the matter said on Thursday.

Groupon Plans to Start Selling Beacons to Merchants (Street Fight)
During an earnings call Thursday, CEO Eric Lefkofsky announced the deals company’s latest project: a redemption system that uses beacons to allow merchants to track and communicate with Groupon customers in their stores.

Expedia Buying Orbitz for $1.6 Billion (Skift)
It is a two-horse race now in the online travel booking world: Expedia is buying Orbitz for about $1.6 billion in cash. This comes after Expedia announced that it was buying Travelocity last month for a paltry $280 million.

Openings and New Hires at Mindstream Interactive, Goodzer, and Foursquare (Street Fight)
Every two weeks, Kelly Benish — who knows practically everyone in hyperlocal — covers some of the latest job changes taking place in this dynamic industry. In this week’s edition, new jobs and hires at Amazon, Google, Where2GetIt and Street Fight.

Online-To-Offline Metrics Increasingly Available, Important To Marketers (Search Engine Land)
Greg Sterling: Now, with smartphone ubiquity and vast amounts of real-world data, marketers are starting to gain visibility on the expansive landscape of online-to-offline transactions. It’s one of the most significant things to happen to digital media and marketing in a long time.

Burger King Takes A Bigger Bite Of Mobile With Ordering Test (Mobile Commerce Daily)
Burger King is skipping to the head of the line in mobile with a new ordering service enabling application users to select what they want to order, pay for it and watch a count down to when their order is ready.

Does Retailer App-Ambivalence Threaten to Slow Beacon Momentum? (Screenwerk)
Are beacons threatened by retailer app ambivalence? A new survey Forrester Research says that many large retailers have “quietly opted to put apps on the back burner” — and, perhaps unwittingly, beacons with them.

What Will the Apple Watch Mean for Local Businesses? (Huffington Post)
The Apple Watch could change the entire landscape of integrated technology, and local businesses who have built their brand and visibility on current modes of technology and communication will need to adapt if they’re going to survive.

Changing Environments Lands $1M for Internet-Connected Park Benches (Wall Street Journal)
A new startup, which is making Internet-connected, solar-powered park benches, has rolled out a dozen connected benches in Boston last year. The company is planning to open up data generated by its benches to other developers who could create useful apps based on it.

The Tricky Task of Rating Neighborhoods on ‘Livability’ (CityLab)
A new start-up is trying to leverage open data from cities and information from social media to create a holistic, accessible tool that measures the “livability” of any apartment or house in a city.

LBMA Podcast: Factual Partners With Metadata, Thinknear Discusses Location Score Index (Street Fight)
On the show: partners with KLM; Capital Radio + Outdoor Plus bring music to billboards in real time; Alibaba tests drone delivery; Wheely’s Cafe sells modern coffee carts; Sportsman Tracker is funded; Yahoo! + Flickr = Wetter.

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