A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Uber Gives Outside Vendors Ability To Request Rides (USA Today)
The ride-hailing service opened the doors Tuesday to visitors of third-party apps to request an Uber car within that app, without being redirected to Uber. Uber’s announcement on Tuesday opens the door to more third-party app developers, including airports and conference organizers, to allow their patrons to request an Uber car from their own mobile applications.
How Brands and Publishers Are Thinking About Beacons (Street Fight)
“The data and analytics is important, but in the end it has to be about improving the customer experience first,” said Jennifer Bordner, marketing manager at Old Navy, during a panel at SXSW Interactive in Austin Tuesday. “In the end, it’s about bridging that gap between the physical and digital [experience] in a way that feels natural.”
DoorDash Raises New VC From Kleiner Perkins (Fortune)
DoorDash, an on-demand delivery service for local restaurants, has raised around $35 million in new VC funding at a valuation of nearly $600 million. Unlike the super-popular food-delivery service Seamless, DoorDash hires its own drivers, so even restaurants that do not usually offer delivery appear on the app.
7 Ways Hyperlocal Vendors Benefit From Self-Serve Sales Models (Street Fight)
By doing away with expensive sales staffs and giving local merchants a way to buy ads or services through automated systems, vendors can keep acquisition costs low and also reduce churn, which is an issue that’s been plaguing the industry. Here are seven examples of ways that hyperlocal vendors benefit from self-serve sales models.
Local Marketer LocalVox Buys MarketMeSuite So Social Management Can Become a To-Do List (VentureBeat)
Small- to medium-sized businesses are natural customers for automated marketing tools that emphasize word of mouth. That’s why local marketing suite LocalVox’ acquisition of social monitoring service MarketMeSuite and its launch of a simpler social response tool — both announced today — make sense.
Mozilla Alum Jay Sullivan Lands at Groupon as Its New Head Of Product (Mozilla)
Jay Sullivan, once one of the more public faces of Firefox browser maker Mozilla and for a while its interim CEO, has surfaced again: he has joined local commerce and daily deals site Groupon as its SVP of consumer product, overseeing all tech products such as Groupon’s mobile apps and its website.
Sidecar’s Delivery Service Now Accounts for 25% of Total Rides in San Francisco (GeekWire)
The San Francisco-based startup reported today that 25 percent of its total rides provided in the Bay Area are now deliveries, up 15 percent from last month. In February, Sidecar rolled out its same-day delivery program that is built on the technology which already power its on-demand transportation app.
After Poaching PayPal’s President, Facebook Is Going After the Payments Business (Forbes)
Facebook announced that U.S.-based users will soon be able to employ its instant messaging service, Facebook Messenger, to send money directly to friends, a feature that puts it in direct competition with the likes of payment companies PayPal and Square.
Nextdoor Cofounder Hopes $110m Will Help The Social Network Join Ranks Of Facebook, Twitter (Upstart)
Social network Nextdoor raised $110 million in funding this month. That’s a big step for a startup that’s yet to make money. Now Nextdoor is focused on expanding options for users, and hopes to one day join the ranks of Twitter and Facebook.
Apollo in the Lead to Buy Digital First Media (Reuters)
Buyout firm Apollo Global Management is in advanced talks to acquire most of the assets of Digital First Media, publisher of the Denver Post and San Jose Mercury News, for around $400 million, according to people familiar with the matter. The potential deal illustrates private equity’s interest in the newspaper industry.