A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Groupon Sells Controlling Stake in Korean Site Ticket Monster for $360 Million (Recode)
A year ago, Groupon acquired Korean deals site Ticket Monster from its competitor LivingSocial for $260 million in cash and stock. On Monday, Groupon announced it was selling a 46 percent stake in Ticket Monster, or TMON, for $360 million to private equity firm KKR.
MyTime Raises $9.25M More to Push Into Back-Office Software (Street Fight)
MyTime, a startup that lets you book services online, is announcing a new $9.25 million round of financing, led by Khosla Ventures’ Keith Rabois and Mark Suster of UpFront ventures. More importantly, the company is announcing a deeper push into back-office software — a move that could put the company into competition with Booker, MindBody and others.
Verve Mobile Taps Acxiom’s Stirratt as CEO (MediaPost)
Former Acxiom Chief Revenue Officer Nada Stirratt is joining location-based mobile ad network Verve Mobile as CEO. Prior to Acxiom, she was the chief revenue officer of MySpace, and previously served as executive vice president-digital advertising at MTV Networks, and held senior roles at Advertising.com and Moviefone.
3 Principles Every Early Stage Startup Needs to Know (Street Fight)
Nick Hughes: There are three things any startup needs to think about as they bring together their team and begin to build out a first version of their product or service. The very first thing you must think about is your team – whom should or should not be on it. Get it right or pay the price later.
‘Mobilegeddon’ Could Be Bad News for 40% of Top Websites (USA Today)
In an analysis of mobile aptitude, many brand’s websites’ passed the test — and many didn’t. Companies that need to update their sites quickly included restaurant chains California Pizza Kitchen and Coco’s, fashion icon Versace, candy manufacturer Sees and European airline Ryanair.
Starbucks’ Experimental Bent Boosted by Loyal Following on Mobile (Mobile Marketer)
Starbucks’ view of mobile as the future of retail, not just marketing, has earned it both users’ trust and the freedom to test new features, auguring well for its continuation as a dominant brand. Mastering payments on smartphones with unrivaled panache and penetration, the coffee retailer’s mobile application now averages more than 6 million weekly transactions.
Uber Adds a Low-Tech Twist to Its Modern Business Model in India (New York Times)
Uber, the app-based car service that made its name matching technology with luxury, is trying to expand its ultramodern business model from cars to Delhi’s auto rickshaws, which are the definition of retrograde. The company is trying, at least, for a new emphasis on niceties that have rarely been part of the auto rickshaw experience.
Chip-Card Rollout Has Banks, Retailers Scrambling (Wall Street Journal)
Some 575 million of the new cards—representing about three-quarters of U.S. credit cards and about 40% of debit cards—are expected to be in the wallets of American consumers by year-end, making it the biggest rollout of new cards in decades. But many large retailers so far have not upgraded their payment terminals to accept the new plastic.
YC-Backed Rickshaw Provides an API for Local Deliveries (TechCrunch)
Why should on-demand services reinvent the wheel if the delivery and routing part of the service isn’t a part of your core competency? That’s the thinking behind Y Combinator-backed Rickshaw, which hopes to enable companies to outsource the logistics layer of the local delivery process.