A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Groupon Sells Its Restaurant Software Business to Upserve (Recode)
Four years after Groupon acquired restaurant software business Breadcrumb, the commerce company has sold it to Upserve, a startup that also makes restaurant software, in an all-stock deal. The companies declined to disclose the exact size of the purchase.
Google Updates the Google My Business API to Version 3.0 (Search Engine Land)
Version 3.0 “adds new functionality for people who manage locations at scale,” Google said. The “key new features include the ability to read and respond to customer reviews and provide additional attributes for locations, such as whether a restaurant accepts reservations, serves brunch, or has outdoor seating,” Google added.
The Real Problem with Duplicate Data (Street Fight)
Gib Olander: Duplicate information — or information that is exactly like something else — isn’t the problem. The problem is publishing inconsistent data (or publishing two different listings) that are referencing the same location.
Uber and Lyft Threaten to Leave Austin After Prop 1 Loss (Mashable)
In a case billed as Silicon Valley money versus Texas public servants, a vote was held Saturday in Austin to decide whether the city’s existing rideshare laws would be overturned. Because the ordinance was defeated, rideshare vehicles must be prominently identified and are prohibited from loading and unloading passengers in travel lanes, and stringent fingerprinting requirements will continue.
Case Study: Coffee Chain Tracks Service Levels With Mobile Messaging Tools (Street Fight)
For Philz Coffee, a “third-wave” coffee chain with a focus on drip coffee, customer service has become a differentiating factor. For more than three years, Philz has been working with hyperlocal vendor OwnerListens to collect valuable feedback from customers.
5 Reasons to Keep Doing SEO Even Though Ads Are Everywhere (Marketing Land)
While it’s true that organic search visits are down overall, according to recent reports, there are many reasons companies should continue doing mobile SEO in 2016. Here are five of them.
Uber’s China Rival Didi Kuaidi is Raising $2 Billion in Funding (Skift)
Uber’s largest competitor plans to close the round in the next few weeks with a valuation of about $25 billion, said the sources, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. That would make it the fourth-most valuable startup in the world after Uber, Xiaomi Corp. and Airbnb Inc., according to the research firm CB Insights.
Square Cash Still Isn’t a Business (Recode)
Jack Dorsey loves Square Cash, the company’s free, digital money-transfer service. But three years after launching it, Square Cash still isn’t a business. Dorsey acknowledged as much on a Thursday earnings call when an equity analyst asked him for an update on the service.
The ‘Uber for Private Jets’ Startup Backed by an Uber Cofounder is Shutting Down (Business Insider)
BlackJet, an on-demand private-jet service that promised to do for air travel what Uber did for cars, is ceasing operations. Launched in 2012, BlackJet promised to be the “Uber for Jets” startup that was missing in the on-demand ecosystem, and it had the investor backing to support it.
Can Self-Driving Cars Run Your Town’s Transit System? (ReadWrite)
Babcock Ranch, located eight miles east of Fort Myers, Florida, is a new sustainable smart town currently in development. Kitson & Partners is in charge and earlier this week suggested that autonomous vehicles would be the main mode of public transport. Similar to NuTonomy’s plans in Singapore, Kitson & Partners wants to have a mobile app for residents that functions similar to Uber, letting them request an autonomous cab at any time.