Paycloud Brings Merchant Loyalty Cards to Your Phone

Earlier this month, Sparkbase launched its new mobile rewards application Paycloud, which allows small and medium-sized merchants to offer and track mobile loyalty programs to customers in the vicinity of their shop. The company’s CEO Doug Hardman talks about scaling local merchant acquisition and why the company’s recent move into the mobile wallet space may have a year or two headstart on the competition…

Street Fight Daily: 08.19.11

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups...

Foursquare announced new features on Thursday that allow check-ins at events, like concerts or movies, instead of just the places where those events are happening. The company said the new features will simply formalize the existing behavior of its users. (New York Times)…

Groupon has not only faced questions about its controversial accounting practices, but is now also having to respond to questions from members of Congress about its privacy policies. (AllThingsD)…

Datasphere’s Cowan: Hitting the Hyperlocal ‘Sweet Spot’

Street Fight recently spoke with Gary Cowan, Datasphere’s SVP of product and marketing (who will be joining us at the Street Fight Summit in October) about the company’s content strategy, the future of the banner ad, and why his company’s sites aren’t “cookie cutter.”

Using Geofence Data to Understand Local Consumers

With all of the locational data being logged these days, it’s becoming more and more important to have ways to contextualize and understand it all. While this kind of analysis obviously is very important in government, military and non-business environments, it is also highly relevant for merchants and advertisers focusing on hyperlocal targeting and campaign assessment…

LocalUp: Building Online Ordering Hubs for Restaurateurs

LocalUp Solutions, a platform provider for online restaurant advertising and food ordering, has licensees and company-supported account managers in 30 markets around the country. The company provides groups of restaurants in small cities with an aggregated online presence and ordering capability that expands their marketing footprint.. .

Using LBS to Help Merchants Manage Inventory

As mobile becomes a more and more important element in the daily deals equation, it’s becoming clear that there are more potential elements to a location-based deal than your classic Groupon — and more ways for merchants to optimize those deals. Location-based deals platform ThinkNear is one such response to the challenge and opportunity presented by mobile…

Gilt City’s Richardson: Aiming Offers at the Local Elite

Most online ventures aimed at local markets tend to cast a wide net — targeting content or offers to a wide swath of consumers based solely on their location, and pulling sponsors and advertisers from local merchants. Gilt City, the localized offers arm of Gilt Groupe, has taken another route, targeting only the very wealthiest consumers in a handful of around the country with pricey-and-luxurious member offers and and events (featuring brands that aren’t necessarily local in nature)…

Metro Publisher: Building a CMS for Hyperlocals

Street Fight recently spoke with Metro Publisher’s VP of business development, Mark Pratt, about how small publishers can get beyond CPMs to sell their value to advertisers, and to what degree hyperlocals should be thinking about mobile…

Placecast President: Increasing Relevance With Location-Aware Ads

Placecast is a location-based mobile ad company that uses “geo-fencing” to help brands extend offers to consumers in the vicinity of their store. The company says it “has pioneered the first fully integrated platform solution for device manufacturers, local directory companies, and mobile operators to easily integrate and monetize location-based information from virtually any source.”

Boston.com Experiments in the Deals Space

In late May, Boston.com launched Boston Deals, becoming the latest in a long line of online publishers venturing into the white-hot daily deals space. Street Fight caught up with Boston.com’s executive director of digital advertising, Mike Wallace, to talk about how publishers can build their brands through ecommerce, and the implications of these kinds of projects for the future of digital advertising…

Scoop St.’s Ambrose: From Daily Deals to ‘Branded Experiences’

Dave Ambrose, a co-founder of Scoop St., recently spoke with Street Fight about how branded experiences set his company apart, the coming convergence between loyalty programs and customer acquisition models, and the biggest challenge that companies in the deals space face.

ReachDeals’s Razgaitis: Mobile Is a ‘Key Catalyst’ in Deals Space

DealOn, a group buying company that launched in late 2009, was always meant to be more than just a Groupon clone. The site offered deals, but it also had plans for a white label deals solution for publishers as well as an “offer exchange” which sought to “empower the deals ecosystem,” according to Rich Razgaitis, who was the company’s CEO until it was acquired by ReachLocal last year…

TIPPR: Quality of Audience Is What Matters in the Deals Space

In the wake of Groupon’s recent S1 and the subsequent wave of criticism that has been aimed at the daily deals giant, deals platform and technology providers like Tippr are stepping in to the fray with new models to power group buying. Street Fight caught up with Tippr’s COO Samy Aboel-Nil at DIGIDAY: LOCAL last week to discuss how the company’s Powered by Tippr is hoping to change the game…

Local News Isn’t Local Enough for Meporter’s Andy Leff

Meporter, a citizen journalism platform for mobile phones that was launched in May, combines the check-in function of Foursquare with crowdsourcing and old-fashioned reporting. Using the app, journalists of all stripes can check in to a location or an event and then share their on-the-fly news report with the world at large…

St. Louis Beacon: Revenue Beyond the Banner Ad

The St. Louis Beacon, a local Web site that covers the region, was founded in 2007 by a group of veteran St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporters who perceived a serious lack of in-depth reporting about the communities they lived in. After building up the site, they snagged a couple of grants and partnerships that made the project viable. But, like many local news sites started by high-minded journalists, the Beacon was initially all about the journalism. “They didn’t have anybody on staff who was thinking about business models or technology strategy, or any of that sort of stuff,” says Nicole Hollway, the site’s general manager, who came on board in 2008…

Localeze’s Dague: Solving the Problem of Search for Local Merchants

As online search has become such a pervasive utility in our lives, maintenance of accurate local search results has become increasingly important for brick-and-mortar businesses everywhere — as well as for the ever-growing number of location-based platforms that serve up those search results as part of their geo-located service. Localeze does a lot of the behind-the-scenes work in making sure that listings across hundreds of platforms remain accurate and current. The company monitors and manages local business identities, and authenticates local search results, making sure that business information is accurate and consistent…

For a Couture Cookie Shop, Branding Is Everything

At Cookie Couture in Miami, co-owner Jael Toledo is careful about the image she projects. Together with her sister and business partner Cindy Toledo, Jael has eschewed more well-known daily deal sites in favor of “high-end” niche sites like Gilt City and DailyCandy Deals as a way to position Cookie Couture as South Florida’s premiere purveyor of chic baked goods.

Fwix’s Shirazi: Layering Location on Top of the Web

San Francisco-based hyperlocal search database Fwix made news last week when it announced a new product called Geotagger that will allow publishers to tag Web pages with locations — in effect allowing them to create a layer of precise location information on top of their content, and giving them another method to index the information in that page by. The company is partnering with NBC to roll the service out onto the network’s local news Web sites. Street Fight visited Fwix’s offices in San Francisco last week and caught up with the company’s CEO, Darian Shirazi…

Skyhook’s Morgan: Leveraging the ‘Plumbing’ Behind Hyperlocal

With all of the focus on location-aware devices these days, the companies whose technology powers those locating systems have become even more important. Skyhook uses WiFi access points, cellular phone towers and GPS satellites to locate mobile devices with 10- to 20-meter accuracy. It then plots your position on a map that services like Foursquare and Facebook Places can translate to a place with a name, like the bar you’re in or near.

Realtor Reaches Clients Through SEO Marketing, Hyperlocal Blogs

Realtor Karen Benvin Ransom’s listings have moved far beyond the newspaper classifieds. With a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a personal Web site, and a series of articles she’s written about her local community online, Ransom has honed in on the exact sites and search terms that her clients at Houlihan Lawrence are using to shop for homes in Westchester County, N.Y.