A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Banjo Raises $100M to Put Your Tweet (and More) on the Map (Street Fight)
Don’t look now, but location data analytics might actually be turning into a big business. Banjo, a Las Vegas-startup that got its start helping brands analyze location data in social media streams, has raised $100 million in a series C round of funding led by Softbank.
Apple Challenges Google With Growing Web Search Program, Fueled by Topsy Acquisition (Apple Insider)
Apple’s rapidly-expanding internal search group — aimed at making Spotlight a legitimate Web search engine — is being led by the team acquired in 2013 with social search firm Topsy. The Apple Search group currently has over a dozen job openings for positions ranging from infrastructure operations to location-based search specialists.
The Mobile Search Tipping Point: A Global Perspective (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: The global dominance of smartphones establishes a new and different kind of marketing opportunity. The smartphone by its nature is portable, location-based, and focused on immediacy. Whether local search is a major segment of consumer activity or not today in a given country, there’s little question that it will be, and soon.
ClassPass, a Startup that Gym Rats and Investors Love, is Now a $400 Million Company (Business Insider)
During ClassPass’ Series B round of funding in January, investors gave the company a valuation north of $200 million. Onstage Wednesday at TechCrunch Disrupt, ClassPass Chief Executive Payal Kadakia was asked about whether the $200 million figure was still accurate and said the company is now worth double.
Street Fight Expands Research Department, Adds Former Gigaom Analyst
David Card has joined Street Fight to head up our research arm, Street Fight Insights. Card was most recently VP of research at Gigaom and previously held senior level positions at Forrester Research, Jupiter Research, and IDC.
TripAdvisor Will Fight for Dominance in Restaurant Reservations City by City (Skift)
TripAdvisor has been on an acquisition tear in restaurant reservations platforms and attractions businesses and it has huge ambitions in each category. Restaurants, attractions and vacation rentals are just 12 percent of TripAdvisor’s revenue but that number is going to get a lot bigger in the future.
Groupon Investors Offered Little Hope After Three Hard Years (USA Today)
Zynga went public the month after Groupon, and by now it should be clear that neither company had a market that was as big or a business model as profitable as their investment bankers once predicted. This week the pain kept coming for retail investors who bought into the hype surrounding the online coupon pioneer in late 2011.
Content Marketing for Local Businesses: Get Creative & Pay to Play (Search Engine Land)
Will Scott: Now, search engines like Google have become even more sophisticated, rewarding content that is of real interest or value to consumers. In a world littered with information, small, local businesses must be ever more sophisticated about the content they create and where and how it gets distributed.
A Wildly Popular Food Site Will Now Text Restaurant Recommendations Directly to You (Business Insider)
The food site just unveiled a new feature called “Text Rex,” where you can get a personalized restaurant recommendation from an Infatuation staff member over text message. Rather than use a complex system of ratings and anonymous recommendations like most restaurant review sites do, with Text Rex you’re talking with a real, live person.
Square Hires Amazon Executive Who Helped Launch Amazon’s Square Competitor (Recode)
Just a few months ago, Mary Kay Bowman was leading a new Amazon product that hoped to challenge Square’s core payments business. Now, Bowman is on the other side — she has recently taken a top role at Square, according to an update to her LinkedIn bio.