Street Fight Daily: HomeAdvisor Expands to New Cities, Airbnb Confirms Rumored $1.5B Round

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

HomeAdvisor Expands, Takes On Angie’s List in Search for Ambitious Employees (Denver Business Journal)
HomeAdvisor is opening new offices in hip districts of downtown Denver and Indianapolis, expanding into the backyard of its biggest rival in the process. HomeAdvisor is now in the same city as Angie’s List, the Indianapolis-based home improvement referral business that HomeAdvisor’s parent company, IAC/InterActiveCorp, has been trying to buy.

Black Friday Weekend’s Unreported Story: The Rise of ‘Bricks and Clicks’ (Street Fight)
Greg Sterling: The mostly unreported story of Black Friday weekend is that much of the ecommerce growth came from “bricks-and-clicks” retailers, not pure-play e-tailers. The reason: Physical stores offer a critical customer experience and serve as a “brand anchor,” supporting ecommerce for traditional retailers. Stores drive online sales because they instill a sense of confidence and trust in the consumer.

Airbnb Just Confirmed a Massive $1.5 Billion Round That Makes It the Third-Highest Valued Startup in the World (Business Insider)
Airbnb filed a Form D with the SEC on Monday, confirming that the startup closed a $1.5 billion round earlier this year. This new round reportedly raises its valuation to $25.5 billion.

Yahoo: Be Careful Playing in Traffic (Wall Street Journal)
Hundreds of millions of people visit Yahoo’s sites each month. But as the company’s board weighs a sale of its core business, one big question for prospective buyers is how much that traffic is really worth. Yahoo’s ad prices are declining, forcing it to effectively buy revenue growth. So while the company’s still-considerable scale remains a draw, it’s mitigated by the need for a buyer to either manage or reverse this decline. (Subscription required)

Case Study: NJ Gym Uses Loyalty Program to Increase Sales from Existing Members (Street Fight)
When consumers commit to joining a gym and paying a fixed rate each month, they’re indirectly confirming their loyalty to the business. But after years of working with clients at Gold’s Gym of Jersey City, sales manager Mauricio Calmet noticed that a secondary loyalty market exists, one that’s rarely tapped by businesses once they’ve signed customers up for yearlong contracts or memberships.

GrubHub Acquires Delivered Dish (Chicago Tribune)
GrubHub has announced its acquisition of Delivered Dish, which is based in Portland and operates in several western U.S. cities. GrubHub is facing increasing pressure in the delivery space from traditional competitors and other tech companies. Earlier this year Groupon acquired Baltimore-based on-demand delivery startup OrderUp, while Uber’s on-demand meal service, UberEats, provides a different kind of challenge.

2016 Preview: The Year Publishers Get Smarter About Platforms (Digiday)
Lucia Moses: If 2015 was the year the publishers pushed caution aside and went all-in on platforms (Facebook, Apple, Snapchat), 2016 will be about tension and refinement. But don’t look for any major changes, like platforms driving traffic back to publishers or publishers revolting en masse. “This shotgun marriage will likely endure,” said Vivian Schiller, head of news at Twitter, “even if it will never be a union of equals.”

What’s Holding Mobile Payments Back This Holiday Season? (Huffington Post)
Megan Anderle: Why aren’t smart phone users paying at stores with their phones? The short answer to this complex question is user loyalty incentives that integrate with centralized mobile payment hubs and education on the security standards of mobile payment systems.

Sinclair Acquired and Will Relaunch Mobile News Site Circa (Wall Street Journal)
Sinclair Broadcast Group, the owner of the most local TV stations in the country, has purchased and next spring will relaunch the defunct mobile news site Circa. Sinclair wanted to invest in the millennial-focused site because the audience for local TV news is aging, in part because local TV stations have not been good at finding young audiences where they are — on mobile devices and streaming players.

Daniel Graf, Former Product Honcho for Twitter and Google Maps, Joins Uber (Recode)
Intent on building dominant transportation software, Uber has steadily been plundering marquee talent from Google. Add another one: Daniel Graf, the former product chief at Twitter and the man credited for bringing Google Maps to the iPhone.

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