shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Celebrating Diwali White House Style and Ben Lerer’s Beer Pong Skills

(Photo: Twitter)

In less than a week, you’ll be sitting on your parents’ couch with a belly full of booze and turkey watching shitty cable TV, because ain’t life grand? To tide you over until that wondrous day, we’re back with another batch of juicy rumors. Happy Friday!

Beer Me Storied New York venture capital firm Lerer Ventures knows its target audience. According to a tweet from Scoutmob cofounder Dave Payne, Lerer is hosting a beer pong tournament for some of the companies it has invested in. “just got invited to a beer pong tourney by one of our venture investors,” tweeted Mr. Payne. “that’s hard core @lererventures. well done.”

Competition at the tournament seems like it will be quite fierce. “hope you’ve been practicing,” responded Northeastern student Scott Edelstein. “i’ve seen@benjlerer win with his eyes closed.”

In fact, here’s proof: Read More


Booting Up: ‘So Snobby We’re Above Snobbery’ Edition

The morning after the first snow. (Photo: Flickr/tomasfano)

The CEO’s of AppNexus and LocalResponse we’re always besties. [PandoDaily]

Alexia Tsotsis breaks down what exactly rubs Valley-ites so wrong about Start-Ups: Silicon Valley: “We’re so snobby we’re above snobbery.” [TechCrunch]

Who convinced President Obama to convene with the forever alones on Reddit? His crack team of data crunchers, of course. [Time]

Even a superstorm can’t break the internet. [AllThingsD]

We didn’t see the Fail Whale once during election night, even as tweets poured by. Twitter VP of infrastructure ops Mazen Rawashdeh credits the company’s stellar performance with its backend overhaul from Ruby to Java. [Twitter Blog]


LocalResponse Is So Close to Profitability, They Can Almost Taste It

Nihal Mehta, CEO of LocalResponse (

Local startup LocalResponse is apparently growing like a weed. As we’ve reported before, the platform leverages your social media detritus to deliver hyper-targeted ads. (Translation: You check into a store, and you get a coupon that’s actually useful.)

Now, it sounds like that approach is quite literally paying off. According to TechCrunch, CEO Nihal Mehta says the company is within striking distance of profitability, and he expects to cross that particular milestone sometime in Q3. Just in time for Christmas shopping. Read More

Be Like the Virus

Creepy New ‘Intent Advertising’ Means You’ll Soon Be Served Ads Based on Your Tweets

Nihal Mehta, CEO of LocalResponse (

Oversharers, beware: if you’ve recently tweeted anything embarrassing–say, how much you drank last night–be prepared to confront ads that directly address your tweets. For example: If you’re browsing a website even without being logged into its Twitter functionality, you might get served a banner ad about a hangover cure, or deals on Stoli.

It’s a new form of big brother-esque hyper-targeted advertising from New York-based startup LocalResponse that, according to a press release, “delivers more relevant ads across all platforms by learning from public consumer intent expressed over public social media channels.” Read More


LocalResponse Goes Pro, Launches Analytics Dashboard for Brands to Act on Geo-Targeted Consumer Intent

Any excuse to post photos of @stanleythepuppy

LocalResponse announced some big news today in the way of every startup’s favorite word: monetization! (Well, it might be your least favorite if your name rhymes, say, with Shmumblr). The advertising platform, which helps marketers make good on real-time consumer intent by mining mentions and location-enabled check-ins on Twitter, Foursquare, Gowalla and the like, is now offering an “analytics and action platform for marketers.”

In the past, LocalResponse has managed fly-over state friendly campaigns for clients like Walgreens. Consumers who checked-in to Walgreens on Foursquare or merely tweeted “I’m at Walgreens” or even “I’m going to Walgreens,” got a tweet back directly from the store offering promotions and coupons. Click-through rates for that that kind of offering are more than 50 percent, a good 20 times that of other direct response marketing campaigns, says the startup.

The secret sauce of LocalResponse’s approach to social media deluge is that the company is able to analyze both implicit and explicit check-ins. “No one is using semantic NLP (natural language parsing) to extract the implicit ‘check-in’ or presence—in fact we have a patent pending on this process,” LocalResponse CEO Nihal Mehta told Betabeat. “Sprout Social, Tweetdeck, SocialFlow all operate on generic mentions, instead of ‘presence’ like LocalResponse does,” he added. Data from Foursquare, who is also trying get in on the ad game, is only two percent of LocalResponse’s data set. “The vast majority comes from people mentioning they are at places or doing things on Twitter itself!” he said. Read More


LocalResponse Doubles Staff, Embraces the Midwest

Are you the kind of person who enjoys checking in to a Walgreens and getting a 25 percent discount on a bulk bottle of shampoo? No? Well that’s probably because you’re a snobby New Yorker who wouldn’t be caught dead in a Walgreens andwashes their hair with tea tree oil.

But LocalResponse is embracing that all American consumer. The company announced today they are opening a new office in Chicago and bringing on Todd Hayes, who was the Internet Advertising Bureau’s 2010 salesman of the year for the Midwest. Just because you’re based in Chelsea doesn’t mean you don’t know how to sell Pepsi in the flyover states, am I right?  Read More


Let’s Monetize! How LocalResponse Turns Social Media Emphemera Into Mobile Ad Inventory

Nihal Mehta

Betabeat is pretty sick of “big data” as a buzzword, but the amount of personal information that consumers are throwing up on the web is staggering. Facebook has had some success advertising against this information, Twitter less so.

LocalResponse was born out of the ashes of Buzzd, a city guide that mashed up Foursquare and Twitter to help users find local hotspots. Founder Nihal Mehta learned a valuable lesson in defeat, and this week raised a $5 million round from new investors Cava Capital, Vodafone Ventures, Advancit Capital and Progress Ventures, along with its existing investors

Buzzd was a consumer facing platform, but failed to attract enough users. LocalResponse, by contrast, take the massive amount of public data being shared on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, and turns that into ad inventory. Read More

Location Based

LocalResponse Adds Big Brands and New President

local response graphic

LocalResponse, which soft launched two weeks ago, aggregates more than 1 billion check ins per month from 200 million different users across a range of services like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram and more. It breaks that data down and makes sense of it so business owners can target different kinds of customers in specific locations. Read More