Street Fight Daily: Google Buys Softcard, GrubHub President To Exit

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

google-wallet-pos-terminalGoogle Strikes Mobile Payments Deal With Big Wireless Carriers, Buys Softcard Technology (Recode)
Google has inked a distribution deal with the biggest wireless carriers in the U.S. to get the Google Wallet payments app pre-installed on their phones. At the same time, Google is buying technology from Softcard, the mobile payments app backed by the same carriers.

Amazon and Yelp Want a Piece of Online Ordering — Here’s Why There’s Still Hope for Startups (Street Fight)
As market leaders go public and other firms barrel in on the industry, is there still room for younger companies to grow? Matt Howard, chief executive at EatStreet, one of the largest remaining independent ordering firms, thinks so.

GrubHub’s No. 2 Heading For The Exit (Crain’s Chicago Business)
Jonathon Zabusky, who is leaving in August, was CEO of New York-based delivery service Seamless when it merged with GrubHub nearly two years ago. He became the No. 2 executive in the combined company, while GrubHub co-founder Matt Maloney kept the CEO job.

5 Tools for Generating Personalized Video Ads (Street Fight)
Technology is enabling businesses to go beyond the 30-second television spots most consumers are used to seeing, with personalized online videos ads that can be targeted by customer location and demographic to drive conversions and new acquisitions. Here are five online video advertising platforms that businesses of all sizes can try.

Thumbtack Adds Big Name Design and Engineering Execs to Oversee Big Growth (TechCrunch)
Nearly six months after scoring an attention-grabbing funding round of $100 million, service marketplace Thumbtack has attracted two new big name executives to help oversee its ambitious growth plans for the months ahead: former Google executive Mark Schaaf and former Apple design director Vander McClain.

3 Reasons LivingSocial Decided To Scale Back Its International Operations (Washington Business Journal)
LivingSocial is now a single brand, marketed in a single language, and operated on a single technology platform. That wasn’t the case prior to the recent sale of Spain-based Let’s Bonus, which was the company’s last foothold in a non-English speaking country.

The Rise Of Urban Audio Tours (Fast Company)
While many still associate audio tours with bulky headsets rented from museum ticket counters, commercial startups, artists and storytellers are developing new smartphone-based urban audio walks they say can be as immersive as popular podcasts like Serial and This American Life.

App Uses Powerful AI to Find Perfect Places for You to Eat (Wired)
With sites like Yelp, it’s never been easier to find restaurant reviews. But it’s often easier to ask a friend to recommend a place than it is to sift through dozens of reviews to figure out which, if any, restaurant suits your budget or dietary needs. Luka, an app that’s a bit like a cross between Yelp and Siri, wants to change that.

Rev Up The Content Marketing Engine To Achieve Local Liftoff (Search Engine Land)
Chris Silver Smith: Content marketing is valuable for more than just helping your keyword associations and search engine rankings. Much of the material generated for content marketing development will intersect with consumers early in the buying cycle, often while they still may be in a research phase, just prior to making a purchase decision.

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