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Thumbtack Raises $4.5 Million

Thumbtack, which has set itself to compete against Angie’s List and ServiceMagic in the SMB leads space, has raised $4.5 million from Javelin Venture Partners, with MHS Capital and Tim Draper participating. The eight-person San Francisco company, founded in 2009,…

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Vertical Deals Continue to Spread

More vertical deals are being introduced, as vertical publishers with specific audiences seek to tie deals to existing content, and prove to have better conversion than watered down, one-size-fits-all approaches. A few weeks ago, we wrote about Local Offer Network’s…

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Zvents Sold to eBay’s StubHub

The events listings space has taken a number of twists and turns with Zvents trying to steer people to retail events as a business model, and also become a media driver in its own right; Eventful focusing more and more…

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Topline ‘Local Marketplace’ Predictions for 2012

The idea of an online marketplace has continued to evolve dramatically in 2011. With the emergence of deals, we now have full-fledged interactive local commerce in place, in addition to advertising. It seems that everyone has jumped into the pool.…

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Local Offer Network, Cardinal Health Partner for B2B Deals

As deals verticalize, we’re intrigued by opportunities for B2B plays. MarketSharing is offering deals tailored for SMBs (office cleaning discounts, office copier repair, etc.). Now, Cardinal Health, a Fortune 20 company, has launched a pilot with Local Offer Network to…

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Google Buys Zagat: Reviews Platform Is the Focus

Google’s march into local reached another milestone today with the acquisition of Zagat, a major international provider of high-end restaurant and lifestyle reviews in 100-plus cities. Zagat remains a major player in a reviews space it pioneered in 1979. In…

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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…

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The ‘Common Elements of Successful Promotions’

We’ve been focused so much on deal a day that we sometimes forget it is just part of the mix when it comes to successful SMB promotions. Seth Gardenswartz of SpaBoom, a provider of promotion services for spas and restaurants,…

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So — Do We Buy Shares in Groupon? 8 Big Qs

So, do we buy shares in Groupon? We don’t provide investment advice, of course, but as we consider its prospects from a non-investment angle, we’ll be watching for answers to the following eight questions – none of which, unsurprisingly, is…

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MerchantCircle Sold to Reply for $60 Million

Reply has acquired MerchantCircle for $60 million in cash and stock in a deal that makes a big bet on SMB, vertical and social marketing. The deal, which should be completed in Q3, brings MerchantCircle’s list of 1.6 million SMBs…

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