AOL Acquires Armstrong’s Patch, Plus Going.com (Updated)

AOL reaffirmed its strong interest in local today, announcing that it is purchasing Patch.com, a 25 person hyperlocal service invested in by new CEO Tim Armstrong when he was still at Google; and Going.com, an events-driven social network and self-serve ticketing platform aimed at 20- somethings. Patch.com is currently in five suburban New Jersey towns, with three Connecticut town and an … Read more

How Amazon Will Use Whole Foods as a Local Retail Anchor and Lifestyle Platform

Whole Foods has been rescued by its $13.7 Billion sale to Amazon, which should not only be able to leverage WF’s 431 stores with upscale shoppers, but amplify it with personalization, promotions, Prime Now delivery, and a broader selection of high margin lifestyle goods (which account for a high percentage of Whole Foods’ profit). Whole … Read more

2008: The Year That Was

We’re out with our predictions for 2009. But what’s the final word for 2008? Truly, it was a very stimulating and thoughtful year for our local media and commerce industry. But speaking for myself, it’s hard to say whether it was a good year, especially with fresh layoffs that we are hearing about every day. In fact, … Read more

ReachLocal Sees $300 Million+ Valuation

ReachLocal, a provider of local online marketing solutions for SMBs, has raised $55.2 million in new financing. This comes on top of the $12.7 million it has raised since its founding in 2004. The new funds give ReachLocal an estimated valuation of $305 million, since it was previously valued at $250 million. The money is coming … Read more

Web.com’s $2 Billion Sale; What It Says About The Value of SMB Platforms

Web.com, a behemouth that has watched companies like MailChimp, Squarespace and Weebly grab the buzz in SMB platforms, is being tentatively sold to Siris Capital, a buy out firm, for $2 Billion — a 30 percent premium over its recent stock price. Counter-offers are being invited through August 5. Web.com launched in 1997 to provide off-the-shelf, … Read more

Merchant Circle Seeks to Provide YP Alternative

“Small business,” “marketing tools” and “viral marketing” = a new generation of Yellow Pages that will really help businesses get more local customers. Or so hopes Merchant Circle, a well-funded startup that officially launches in June. “People who sell FEAR like the Yellow Pages cannot sell the hope that the local Internet delivers, said President and … Read more

Vertical Focus: TakeLessons Raises $6 Million

Specialized verticals are a major part of the new marketplaces environment. One vertical we like is TeachStreet, a portal that helps consumers find teachers, and then helps sign them up and process payments. Along the same lines is TakeLessons, a five-year-old teacher site that is exclusively focused on hooking vetted music teachers with students. The San Diego-based … Read more

ILM East: Ted Leonsis – Local’s All About Scale, ‘New Currencies’

Ted Leonsis, Groupon Vice Chair, American Express Board Member and Internet Pioneer , emphasized the importance of scaling for local in a global economy during a keynote at ILM East yesterday. “Indiana really matters. India matters more,” said Leonsis, pointing out that for larger companies, most growth will come from outside the U.S. The way … Read more