Street Fight Daily: Investors Eye Craigslist Killers, Google’s New Insurance Site

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8257275630_91052331df_kA roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…

Investors Are Drooling Over Two New Craigslist Competitors. One Might Raise $100 Million (Recode)
Two little-known online marketplace startups, OfferUp and VarageSale, have secretly raised money from two of the biggest names in venture capital — Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital — and they’ve been trying to stay under the radar as they go head to head in building what they hope will be Craigslist killers.

#LDS15 How Technology Could Kill The Internet of Things (Street Fight)
These days, technology can do almost anything. But Amber Case, the self-proclaimed cyborg anthropologist who announced her departure from ESRI at Street Fight’s Local Data Summit Thursday, thinks the frenzy of development may actually be holding back innovation.

Google Introduces Long-Anticipated Insurance Shopping Site (New York Times)
The company announced it was introducing a United States version of its Google Compare auto insurance shopping site, which has been operating in Britain for two years. The site, which is basically a search engine for insurance quotes, is the latest entry into an increasingly crowded field of comparison-shopping sites.

#LDS15 Stefan Weitz: Machines Have Enough Data To Understand The Real World (Street Fight)
“We now have enough data to allow machines to figure out what the real world is,” Weitz said during a presentation at Street Fight’s Local Data Summit in Denver Thursday. “Technology will not replace us — it will augment our lives; and search, in particular, is about to radically enhance reality.”

#LDS15 Why Google Will Dominate Local Search For A Decade (Street Fight)
During a presentation in Denver Tuesday, Moz’s David Mihm argued that a few key innovations will keep the search giant on top. The company’s massive local data set, said Mihm, offers a distinct advantage that will allow the firm to leave competitors further and further behind.

Researchers Can Work Out Your Location Based On Who You Talk To On Twitter (Business Insider)
Researchers from Cornell University have worked out how to track Twitter users’ locations — even when they have location services disabled. Using the small subset of Twitter users who provide location information, the algorithm is then able to “assign a location to a user based on the location of their friends.”

#LDS15 Why Payment Data Is The Next Goldmine For Retailers (Street Fight)
What we buy often tells a lot about who we are. That’s why payments data – information about what consumers buy, when they buy it, where they are coming from and every other detail imaginable – has become a goldmine for some retailers. But many retailers either don’t collect it, or are not using it to its full potential.

The Time Has Come: Mobile Payments Will Either Be The Next Big Thing Or A Huge Flop (Quartz)
In a matter of months, the mobile payments sector suddenly got a lot more crowded with tech giants. But in the past three months, only 3% of American smartphone owners have used a mobile wallet in stores, according to a Forrester report released in February.

Five Takeaways for Marketers From Mobile World Congress (AdAge)
Gadgets weren’t the only stars of the show. The telecoms, and their feisty internet foes, took top event billing. Media companies and agencies are also, increasingly, being drawn to the conference to dissect what the latest mobile innovations and moonshots mean for consumers and their brand clients.

The Apple Watch Will Tell You If Your Train Is Running Late (GigaOm)
Apple and its developers are announcing a lot of apps being retooled for its new smart watch, launching next week, but one particular app caught my eye. Crowdsoured public transit app Moovit says it will have an Apple Watch-optimized version of its app ready when the wearable goes on sale whenever that date happens to be.

Beacons Meet WiFi: Cisco Meraki Has Its Eye on Connected Spaces (Beekn)
Meraki, a division of Cisco, launched a WiFi end point which can both act as a beacon and monitor devices in the area, report back to a cloud-based dashboard, and allow you to manage and shape WiFi traffic at the same time. As beacons shift into distribution at scale, their approach will both help relieve some of the pain of points in the beacon ecosystem.

LBMA Podcast: Google Wallet Rollout, Gyroscope Innovations (LBMA)
On the show: Drones in LA scraping cell signals; Johnnie Walker’s smart label from Thinfilm; Beam Wallet brings beacon-based payments to the UAE; Heather Shaw’s Circuitry of Life; AT&T sells you your privacy.

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