Nicholas Carlson | Jun. 24, 2011
Foursquare just raised $50 Million at a post money valuation of $600 Million. Andreessen Horowitz led the round.
Spark Capital joined the round.
No insiders sold stock, unlike last time.
The money will go toward hiring and building out the merchant platform.
TechCrunch broke the story.
O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and Union Square Ventures also participated.
It’s a mild upset that Union Square Ventures didn’t lead the round with its new later stage fund.
Here’s CEO Dennis Crowley’s blog post on the news:
Foursquare is not just about the check-in, or recommendations, or points, or badges. It’s about making the world easier to use. It’s about discovering new places, connecting with friends, and forging new relationships with the places you visit. It’s finding new ways to layer technology on the real world. All of our employees believe strongly in this vision, and we’re incredibly lucky to have investors and a board that feel the same way.
Henry Blodget | Jun. 25, 2011
Google launched its Groupon-killer, “Offers,” in Portland, Oregon, about a month ago.
And now it’s gearing up to launch in San Francisco and New York.
Could Offers become a massive new revenue stream for Google–the “second huge growth engine” that Google has long searched for in vain?
Could Google’s entry into the deals business clobber Groupon and other deal providers like Living Social?
To begin to answer these questions, we spoke to representatives of merchants who have signed on to offer Google Offers in New York. We also spoke with Google’s Eric Rosenblum, the lead engineer on Offers, and Google spokesperson Nate Tyler.
And it turns out that Google Offers does have a few key advantages over other deal providers that could shake up the deals industry and force Groupon, at least, to change the terms of its deals.
In other words, if Google makes a big commitment to the deals business–a big if–its entry into the market could hurt the businesses of Groupon, Living Social, et al, even if it does not end up “killing” them.
Alyson Shontell | Jun. 23, 2011
Social media marketers often complain that their efforts aren’t measurable.
Hitwise used internal data to determine the ROI of Facebook advertising. It found that each Facebook fan generates about 20 visits per year to a retailer’s site.
“The figure of 1 fan = 20 extra visits to a website uses a unique methodology that combines Hitwise data with data from social media experts Techlightenment,” it writes.
“We took the top 100 retailers ranked in the Hitwise Shopping and Classifieds category and benchmarked visits to those websites against the number of fans those brands had on their Facebook page. We then also looked at the propensity for people to search for those retail brands after a visit to Facebook using our Search Sequence tool.”
By Lauren Johnson
June 23, 2011
The quick rise of mobile has signaled that consumers want information and content in new ways, but a new study shows that mobile is past the point of only being used for on-the-go consumers.
The study conducted by InsightExpress points to data that shows increased smartphone use at home, including watching videos, updating social networks and playing games. Additionally, the study shows that consumers are using mobile devices more than computers to access their emails and browse the Internet.
“The increase in smartphone use at home tells me is that we’re well past the stage of mobile being only an on-the-go medium, and marketers need to adjust their strategy to reflect this changing behavior,” said Joy Liuzzo, senior director at Insight Express, Stamford, CT.
By Mickey Alam Khan
June 22, 2011
Companies are increasingly seeing the potential of mobile and how the medium can help build relationships between the brand and the consumer, especially during the holiday season.
While many companies are still formulating their mobile strategy, it is key to incorporate either a mobile site, application or SMS into a multichanel holiday initiative. Consumers expectations are already high and they expect to turn to their favorite retailers or brands this holiday season in any medium — store, catalog, phone, online or on mobile. Here are some practical tips for holiday mobile commerce:
1. Have a transaction–enabled mobile store. Half-measures will not work. In a year’s time, when one out of two subscribers nationwide will have Web-enabled smartphones, they will expect the same experience on mobile as they do on traditional sites and in-store. Come holiday season, expect consumers to shop on mobile with the same expectations of shopping experience as generated online.