A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Amazon In Talks to Buy Stake in Mapping Company HERE (Yahoo Finance)
Amazon is in talks with German carmakers about taking a stake in digital mapping company HERE. Last August, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes agreed to pay $2.8 billion to buy HERE from Nokia, and the consortium has started negotiations with potential partners. A stake in HERE could make sense for Amazon, which is rolling out new one- and two-hour delivery services in major cities and needs accurate, real-time maps to compete with rivals on logistics.
Postmates Launches Subscription Service, Hits 1M Monthly Deliveries (TechCrunch)
Postmates, which is now completing 1 million deliveries a month, is digging deeper into the ecommerce space with the launch of Postmates Plus Unlimited, a $9.99-per-month subscription service that gets you free deliveries on certain orders. “The goal is to make local inventory that’s offline and even online really accessible in every city,” said Postmates VP of Growth Kristin Schaefer.
Gimbal CEO Says Getting Beacons Right Means Moving Beyond the Coupon (Street Fight)
“When people started thinking of beacons, they thought it was the place to [deliver] the coupon offer,” said Gimbal’s Jeff Russakow, “but what we’re finding is that there is a broader and richer experience to be had through beacon deployment.”
More Brands Mean Many More Buttons for Amazon Service (New York Times)
Amazon is expanding its Dash program from the nearly 30 brands whose products have been available for ordering through the devices to more than 100. Dash Buttons are now pressed more than once a minute in total by Amazon customers.
5 On-Demand Apps for Emergency Services (Street Fight)
While dialing 911 is the correct response when major emergencies occur, it isn’t always appropriate for lesser events, like flat tires or minor medical injuries. For events that are urgent but not life-threatening, a host of specialty on-demand apps are looking to fill the void.
Sidecar Co-Founder Leaves General Motors for Uber (Fortune)
In February, General Motors acquired the assets and talent behind ride-hailing startup Sidecar to help it develop its own car service. But Jahan Khanna, who co-founded Sidecar in 2011, has left GM after to join Uber as the product lead of the Vehicle Solutions growth team. His departure comes after growing disagreements between him and GM.
Why No Dining App Is the ‘Airbnb of Food’ (Yet) (Eater)
Despite all of the signs that “Eat With Strangers Apps” will never really take off, the idea continues to maintain a hold. If there’s a startup that can feel successful because it runs a site or app that simply works for its users, maybe EWSAs will come out on top after all. But will they be rolling in cash? That’s less of a certainty.
BMW’s New App Wants to Be Your Personal Assistant for Driving (Mashable)
BMW has debuted Connected, its new app for car owners that learns your habits over time and is able to predict driving directions. The app is mostly centered around navigation, but it also connects to your calendar to automatically pull in specific locations from your schedule.