Street Fight Daily: Pinterest’s $11B Valuation, Google Now Opens Up

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

Pinterest Raises $367 Million, Pushing It Past $1 Billion Raised in All (TechCrunch)
Pinterest said it raised $367 million, giving the online site a valuation of $11 billion and making it one of the most highly valued startups by venture capitalists in the world. The latest funding more than doubles Pinterest’s previous valuation of $5 billion from less than a year ago, underscoring the premium investors are placing on the most sought-after companies.

Facebook SMB Chief: We’re Changing — Small Businesses Need to Change With Us (Street Fight)
In October, Facebook warned advertisers that “unpaid marketing pitches” would see a “significant decrease in distribution” in News Feed. Now Jonathan Czaja, the head of small business in North America at Facebook, says that the decline in organic reach reflects a wider evolution of the social network as an advertising platform.

An Open Google Now Is About to Make Android Super Smart (Wired)
Google Now, the card-based dashboard that provides a custom overview of what’s coming up on your schedule, how hellish your commute will be, what news you might like to read and more, is an immensely helpful tool for Android users. Google is about to make it a whole lot more powerful.

Why Email Marketing Is Still Vital for SMBs (Street Fight)
Scott Barnett: Small business owners often won’t reach out to existing customers in a regular way because they are afraid of “spamming” them. Ironically, however, it doesn’t stop these merchants from advertising and posting the same messages repeatedly on social media.

Google Maps Upends Primary Data Suppliers – YP.CA Is Out (Blumenthals)
Mike Blumenthal: It has been confirmed that is no longer Google’s primary data supplier for business listings in Canada. But the story appears to be bigger than that and likely includes new terms in many countries whereby Google is now owning rather than licensing their business listing data.

Sponsored Content: Shift Gears with Mobile Media Summit for the 4th Annual “Cars and Stars” Event (Street Fight)
Mobile Media Summit, the largest mobile media and advertising conference in North America and Europe, is returning home to Los Angeles on April 7 for the city’s biggest mobile-industry gathering at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The focus at the fourth-annual show will be on mobile marketing in the automotive and entertainment industries.

Can GrubHub Go the Last Mile? (BloombergView)
The battle for a not-so-glamorous business reflects tech’s growing obsession with the so-called “last mile” of delivery — that stretch providers have to cross to actually reach a consumer’s doorway. There’s a theory that demand for products will increase if consumers get a predictable experience that comes to their doorstep or into their home.

Andrew Mason’s Slow, Deliberate Second Act (Inc.)
If you haven’t been paying attention to Mason since he was ousted as Groupon’s CEO in 2013, let me get you up to speed. He spent a week at a Miami “fat camp” to slim down, took six months off, had a baby with his wife pop singer Jenny Gillespie, recorded an album of motivational business songs, and then started this location-aware walking app company.

#LDS15 VIDEO: How MasterCard Uses Its Payments Data to Understand Customers (Street Fight)
At Street Fight’s Local Data Summit in Denver earlier this month, MasterCard’s Cristobel von Walstrom said that the company is adding information to a 10 petabyte database at a rate of 160,000 transactions per hour, delivering a range of insights about the businesses where those transactions take place.

Inside the Mad, Mad World of TripAdvisor (Outside)
The company has become—on a rising tide of 200 million user reviews and counting—a travel-industry Goliath, able to turn obscure hotels into sold-out hot spots, carry new flocks of visitors on digital word of mouth to quiet destinations, even rewrite the hospitality standards of entire nations.

Marriott’s Apple Pay Play Is Part of a Bigger Mobile Strategy (Skift)
George Corbin, SVP digital at Marriott International, he says the introduction of mobile payments was a natural next step in Marriott’s digital evolution. The bigger picture, he emphasizes, revolves around Marriott creating a fully integrated mobile strategy to deliver a seamless digital user experience throughout the entire guest journey.

Even Coupons Have Gone Programmatic (MediaPost)
News America Marketing’s announcement that it has partnered with OwnerIQ to develop a way to target shoppers online with coupon offers brings programmatic ad tech use cases full circle. We’ve gone from from digital display to video, mobile, social, radio, television, print and now coupons — delivered via digital display.

Intuit Sets Up New Partnerships Making Mobile Easier for Merchants (Payment Week)
More moves emerge in the field of mobile payments with Intuit looking to secure its position with the help of a couple new partnerships. Intuit is now said to be working with both Shopify and Bigcommerce, a measure which should go a long way in terms of making things easier for the merchant field.

What’s Next for Nextdoor After $110 Million Investment? (Government Technology)
“When you get to the point of 35 percent of the neighborhoods in the United States using your platform, you start to hit a penetration level where public agencies are banging on our door and asking ‘How do we get to be a part of this network?’ and ‘How can we use this platform to better communicate with residents?’” Co-founder Sarah Leary said.

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