Street Fight Daily: Foursquare Raising a “Down Round,” Google and Ford Partner for Driverless Cars

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

Foursquare Raising Round to Capitalize on Data Business (TechCrunch)
Foursquare is raising a financing round at a lower valuation than its previous one. So-called “down rounds” tend to signify more conservative interest in a company’s core business, which could mean slowing growth. Foursquare has missed some opportunities by spending time splitting its app in two and experimenting with new kinds of social tools while other networks have slowly chipped away at its user base.

Google Is Partnering with Ford to Build Self-Driving Cars (Business Insider)
Google and Ford are said to be forming a joint venture that will build self-driving cars. The partnership represents Google’s first success in enlisting an established carmaker to adopt its technology, and comes at a time when Detroit and Silicon Valley’s business interests are increasingly clashing.

10 Top Location-Based Marketing Campaigns of 2015 (Street Fight)
Beacons emerged two years ago, but only seemed to come into their own in 2015. Despite hurdles in consumer acceptance, marketers don’t lack impressive numbers for engagement and store visitation, particularly when combined with more commonplace techniques like geofencing and targeted mobile ads. We asked our friends at GeoMarketing to look back at 10 campaigns that pioneered in the space this past year.

With 100,000 Sellers Connected, Square’s App Marketplace Builds a Bridge (TechCrunch)
How will Square, originally positioned as the champion of the independent seller, allow its merchants to scale up in size and complexity without having to move off the platform and onto a traditional payments processor? One component of the company’s efforts to keep sellers in the fold as they grow is its App Marketplace.

Twizoo Is Taking a 12-Week U.S. Tour to Kill Off Yelp One City at a Time (The Next Web)
Twizoo, an app that uses Twitter information to show consumers where to eat, is launching in 12 U.S. cities. The company offers a real-time alternative to Yelp; old reviews don’t surface when users search for a restaurant, so they get more context on what’s going on now.

Daily Voice Shows Scale and High CPMs Can Mix in Hyperlocal News (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: Trying to scale community news has many pitfalls. Sites can end up publishing glorified bulletin boards as they seek to spread budget-limited journalistic resources across multiple communities. The end result can be bottom-fishing remnant CPMs as low as $1. Carll Tucker, CEO of Daily Voice, which recently expanded into North Jersey, says its model has produced average CPMs that “hover a few pennies under $8.”

Amazon Coaches Merchants to Sell Smarter (Fortune)
Amazon has released a mobile app that allows its sellers to easily access information about their inventory and sales, along with suggestions about pricing and when to restock.

Yoyo Launches Mobile Wallet in the U.S. (TechCrunch)
U.K.-based mobile wallet app Yoyo has quietly brought its technology to the States. Beyond basic card payments, Yoyo provides loyalty programs and rewards offerings it can automatically deliver to customers based on buying patterns.

Forbes Starts Blocking Ad-Block Users (Digiday)
The escalating battle between ad-dependent publishers and ad blocking has a new front: Forbes. The publisher has started blocking access to the site for some users of ad-blocking software.

Lyft Doubles Funding with New $1 Billion Round (Wall Street Journal)
Lyft could double the amount of cash it has raised to date to fund its expensive war with Uber. A recent filing authorized the sale of up to $1 billion of new preferred shares that could value the company as high as $5.75 billion. But Lyft is still significantly outgunned by Uber, which has set out to raise a total of more than $12 billion in debt and equity.

Survey: Ad Industry Could See More Mergers and Acquisitions in 2016 (Adweek)
Merger and acquisition activity among marketing, media, and related technology firms could heat up in 2016, with more prospective sellers seeking deals, as 54 percent of respondents to an annual industry survey said they would explore a sale of their company next year.

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