Using Images to Spur Location-Based ‘Discovery’

Trover’s co-founder and CEO, Jason Karas, likens the photo-sharing location-based service to people “leaving breadcrumbs” for one another — places to discover nearby, with notes to give context. Street Fight recently caught up with Karas to talk about how the app works, why Trover is different from other photo-sharing sites, and how the “discovery” space is evolving…

Case Study: At Choice Hotels, a Check-In Consolidator is Key

For nearly a year, Choice Hotels has been running a special offer that rewards members of its Choice Privileges program with 50 extra points each time they check-in on Foursquare, Facebook, or Gowalla at more than 1,500 participating properties. By partnering with Topguest, Choice has been able to use LBS to build customer engagement without worrying about managing the infrastructure that a large-scale program requires…

Loku CEO: Leveraging Data to Make Sense of Hyperlocal Search

In 2010, private equity manager-turned-entrepreneur Dan Street launched a two-year quest to create a search engine capable of synthesizing and analyzing the vast landscape of hyperlocal information. The result was Loku, a hyperlocal information hub that draws on big data tools to make sense of local search through dynamic analysis and a clean presentation of hyperlocal content…

Case Study: Park District Picks Patch and Sees 25% Growth

At the Downers Grove Park District in Downers Grove, Illinois, (pop. 48,724) Brandi Beckley decides which channels to use to draw residents to events. She has relied heavily on hyperlocal sites like Patch, TribLocal, and MySuburbanLife because of the targeted audiences that these publications provide…

DNAinfo Expands — As Does NYC’s Rep as Hyperlocal Incubator

With its expansion, DNAinfo joins a new class of hyperlocal companies — led by tech startups like Foursquare — that were spawned in New York City and now are in the process of scaling their products into other markets. New York (and Manhattan in particular) has become a hotbed of hyperlocal activity in recent years…

Case Study: How One Agency Helps National Brands Go Hyperlocal

It’s Ron Blevins’ goal to help agencies help brands navigate the world of hyperlocal media. As the vice president of digital strategy for Novus, an ad agency owned by conglomerate Omnicom that is focused solely on the local space, he has seen brands move from newspapers to hyperlocal sites, where they are finding more trust and loyalty — in some cases a 20% increase in ROI over national sites…

Case Study: DFW Airport Uses LBS Offers to Spur Traveler Spending

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is a massive, luxurious airport that in some areas resembles an upscale mall. Many of the travelers who passed through, the airport found, were tech-savvy. 84% owned smartphones and 36% were checking in on location-based services while waiting to board their flights. So to connect these travelers to the stores near their […]

Case Study: Non-Profit Uses Foursquare For Fundraising

At BART stations in the Bay Area in 2010, commuters were encouraged to check-in on Foursquare to posters placed by Earthjustice, a non-profit focused on environmental awareness, as part of an effort to gain traction in the tech community. They hit 6,000 in just a few months’ time and earned media as well, in the New York Times, Mashable and elsewhere. Senior marketing manager Ray Wan discusses the organization’s strategy.

BiteHunter CEO: Learning From Kayak

BiteHunter launched amid the height of deal mania this Spring, as an aggregator for dining deals. With the June launch of its iPhone application and subsequent addition of instant deals to the mobile product last week, the company has grown into a real-time search engine for dining deals. Street Fight recently spoke with the company’s CEO, Gil Harel, a veteran in the dining vertical, about the aggregation industry and the variable future of the deals space…

#SFS11 Company Profile: SCVNGR/LevelUp

SCVNGR is a mobile marketing platform that uses location-based game mechanics to improve engagement with brands. Since 2010, the company has partnered up with Dunkin’ Donuts, Swarovski, and numerous universities to build custom marketing campaigns on top of its mobile application. At the same time, the company has seen solid engagement with its rewards product aimed at small and medium size merchants…

#SFS11 Company Profile: goby,

Weekend warriors, meet goby. This search engine (www.goby.com, as well as Android and iPhone apps) returns “highly categorized and geo-tagged information” personalized based on the user’s desired activity, according to the company’s CEO and co-founder Mark Watkins…

CEO Josh Williams Explains Gowalla’s Overhaul

Last Thursday, Gowalla released a much-anticipated revamp of its location-based application, capping off a blockbuster summer for the geo-social space. The company’s CEO Josh Williams announced the redesign in early September, citing a return to Gowalla’s fundamental mission of encouraging people “to go out and explore.” The driving force behind the Austin-based company’s renaissance appears to be elsewhere — less an ideological about-face and more, an extensive retrofitting aimed at making Gowalla a potentially profitable company….

Seamless CEO: Creating Value for Restaurants Isn’t a One-Shot Deal

Jonathan Zabusky, Seamless’s CEO, talks about how restaurant delivery fits into the hyperlocal equation, and why he thinks platforms like his can ultimately provide more value to mom-and-pop restaurants than daily deals companies do…

#SFS11 Company Profile: Urbantag

The local review and recommendation space is in need of some tidying up. User-generated reviews on sites like Yelp fail to incorporate taste, and often are littered with disingenuous reviews created by the merchants themselves. Meanwhile, recommendation engines like Bizzy and Foursquare Explore require users to share their location on a geo-social network — an activity that remains uncommon in the general public. Urbantag wants to help solve the problem…

Sonar CEO: ‘Location Is Reaching an Inflection Point’

“We spent the last five years uploading our lives to the Internet – our likes, preferences, activities and so on,” says Brett Martin. “Now, we are downloading that information and spreading it over the suitable world. So there is a gold rush of applications which are working to help navigate that data in a physical context.”

Loopt CEO: Turning the Deal Around

When Loopt introduced its new U-Deals program earlier this year, our guest columnist, Doug Stephens hailed the concept as a “profound” shift in the consumer dynamic. Street Fight recently caught up with Loopt’s founder and CEO Sam Altman to talk about U-Deals, location privacy, and where he sees location-based services headed.

Foursquare’s Merchant API Lays Groundwork for Monetization

Amid the fanfare over Foursquare’s new features, the July release and August update of the company’s Merchant API went largely unnoticed. Eric Friedman, Foursquare’s director of business development, talks about why the offering marks a big step toward improving merchant services and laying the groundwork for future monetization.

Managing the Data Infrastructure Behind Hyperlocal

As more and more location-based apps and services pop up, one of the major issues that developers at these companies face is the need for accurate, updated, geo-coded information about all of the businesses out there. Data provider Factual is kind of a clearinghouse for the data sets that these developers need…

Harnessing Geo-Location Data to Profile Places

PlaceIQ CEO Duncan McCall talks about how his company’s technology collates geo-location data sets to give profiles of specific places. By tracking and deciphering patterns of foot traffic, mobile searches, and even weather data, he says his company can give advertisers and merchants a deeper understanding of the opportunities around them.

Taking Social Media Reviews Into the Grocery Aisle

Consmr allows users to rate and comment on sodas, makeup, canned foods, shampoos and all kinds of other everyday consumer goods. The service also includes a “check-in” element where users can indicate what products they’re currently using and potentially earn badges…