Street Fight Daily: Lyft Raises $500 Million, Facebook’s M Suggests Local Services in Messenger

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

Uber Rival Lyft Raises $500 Million in Funding (WSJ)
Ride-hailing company Lyft Inc. is completing a new $500 million funding round that sharply increases its valuation at a time when larger rival Uber Technologies Inc. is reeling from a series of scandals.

Case Study: Convenience Store Chain Streamlines Mobile Offer Creation (Street Fight)
Switching from paper to digital coupons usually saves businesses time and money, but that’s not always the case. For Mike Templeton, digital marketing manager at Kum & Go, a convenience store chain with hundreds of locations, personally designing and managing the distribution of digital coupons quickly became a hassle.

It’s Time for Google and Facebook to Freak Out About Amazon (Mashable)
Patrick Kulp: Amazon dominates online shopping, cloud computing, and now, it has its sights set on advertising. The online shopping giant has been quietly beefing up its ads business in recent months, and Wall Street is starting to take notice.

The Public Debut of Facebook’s M is a Step Toward a Do-It-All AI Assistant (Quartz)
Facebook announced today that its virtual assistant, M, will be available to US users to make suggestions within users’ conversations for a limited number of functions.

Raise Report: New Funding for ActionIQ, Chute, Looker (Street Fight)
Every two weeks, we round up some of the biggest fundraises taking place in hyperlocal marketing, commerce, and tech. This week’s edition includes funding for, JoyRun, Picnic, and Snowflake.

With Push, Small Publishers Have a Quicker, Cheaper Way to Develop Mobile Apps (Nieman Lab)
Christopher Guess, developer of Push, can’t say if developing a news app is always the right call, but he wants to make doing so within reach for any news organization that opts to invest in one.

SOCi Raises $8.5M in Funding (Finsmes)
SOCi, a San Diego, CA-based SaaS enterprise solution for large-scale social media management, closed an $8.5m Series A financing. The round was co-led by Vertical Venture Partners and Grayhawk Capital with participation from the Stanford University DAPER fund, Peninsula Ventures and Tallwave Capital.

How Agencies Are Pushing Voice Technology (Digiday)
As services like Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Watson increasingly become embedded in consumers’ daily lives, agencies are doubling down on their efforts and looking to provide actual utility through these platforms on behalf of their clients.

How Location Data Can Influence Ad Creation, Not Just Placement (Geomarketing)
WPP creative shop Y&R has tapped Skyhook Wireless to provide location data that informs the start of the creative process, as opposed to the attribution at the end.

Viewability Rewards Intrusive Ads (AdExchanger)
Phil Schraeder: It seems imperative that we come up with ads that are inherently viewable rather than intrusively viewable. And by that I propose a single test: Can we create scenarios that allow advertisers to present consumers with a message that piques their interests without being intrusive?

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]