Airbnb Is Raising A Monster Round At a $20B Valuation (TechCrunch)
Airbnb — the platform that lets travellers book private spare rooms and entire homes as an alternative to traditional hotels — is doing some booking of its own. Airbnb is in the process of raising another round of funding that will value it at $20 billion, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Yelp VP Mike Ghaffary: We Are Now a Household Name (Street Fight)
Mike Ghaffary, vice president of business and corporate development, spearheaded the acquisition of Eat24 and has led the Yelp Platform initiative from the start. We caught up with Ghaffary recently to talk about what the acquisition means for its Platform initiative, concerns among investors about slowing growth, and what makes “local” local.
Samsung Actually Stands a Fighting Chance In Mobile Payments (Quartz)
The world’s largest smartphone maker has debuted its latest flagship phones, complete with a new mobile payments platform called Samsung Pay. A key differentiator for Samsung Pay is a technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission, which will allow for contactless payments with 90% of existing credit card terminals.
5 Things You Need to Know About Selling to Local Consumers (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: Toward the end of last year, American shoppers reached a remarkable milestone: consumers spent more in retail stores on products which they had researched on the Internet, than those they had not. Web-influenced offline sales now account for the largest category of retail spending in the American economy.
Uber Discloses Data Breach That May Have Affected 50,000 Drivers (GigaOm)
Uber suffered a data breach in 2014 that affected 50,000 Uber drivers across the U.S., the ride-sharing startup disclosed in a statement on Friday. The information that may have been compromised included driver names and their driver license numbers, but the startup said that it is not aware of any “reports of actual misuse” of that data.
5 Strategies for SMBs Looking to Leverage Wearable Tech (Street Fight)
Although global companies are on the front lines of the wearables movement, taking advantage of things like Apple Watch for mobile payments and Google Glass for customer service, SMBs are taking a more reserved approach. Here are five strategies for SMBs that are interested in utilizing wearable technology.
RIP Leaf: Heartland Halts Payment-Tech Provider in Consolidation (Xconomy)
Restaurant checkout-tech provider Leaf, which has been a unit of payments processing company Heartland Payment Systems since 2014, is being shuttered as Heartland looks for a new direction in the fast-changing world of retail payments. Heartland said that it was recording a loss of $41.4 million as a result of the change.
With A $60M Revenue Run Rate, ClassPass May Be The Next Uber (TechCrunch)
TechCrunch has secured financial information about ClassPass, the TechStars-backed startup that offers unlimited access to various fitness classes for a flat monthly fee. As it stands now, our sources report that ClassPass is tracking to a $60 million revenue run rate for 2015, a run rate that has doubled in the past three months.
Six Years In And The Batavian Is Going Strong (Batavian)
Howard Owens: When Billie and I assumed ownership of The Batavian, the site had three sponsors and hadn’t yet cracked 2,400 visitors in a day. There were naysayers who thought we were foolish to sell our home in Pittsford and rent a tiny duplex on Maple Street and pretend we could be local online news publishers in Batavia.
SF-Based Startup Chefs Feed Hopes To Be The Anti-Yelp (SFist)
About three and a half years ago, two restaurant publicists decided to launch an app that collected the food recommendations of chefs — the idea being that who better to ask where to eat in any given city than the chefs who live and eat there. Fast forward to 2015, and the company wants to offer an alternative to Yelp.
The Science Of ‘Do It With Me’ (MediaPost)
The movement to spruce up and expand aging digital media continues. And with it, a “do-it-with-me’ service model for digital marketing aimed at local small and mid-size businesses. While self-service platforms have proven that a do DIY model works, there are several gaps to bringing a DIWM concept to the masses.