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

Nihal Mehta, CEO of LocalResponse (twitter.com)

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

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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

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Foursquare Debuts Explore Feature For Web In Push to Become City Guide

explore for web

Foursquare is bringing its “Explore” feature to its website today, hoping that users will turn to them when planning a trip abroad or finding the perfect sushi spot for a first date.

Alex Rainert, Head of Product, foursquare: The explore feature on mobile was really about helping users discover what was going on right around them right now. The desktop interface is way better for mapping things out and making plans when you’re hoping to travel somewhere. We also think it gives a unique perspective into a place, because you don’t have to search just for a certain kind of restaurent or venue. You can look for any word or term and Explore will scan through our huge library of tips for a match. (Betabeat recommends searching “sweaty” and “bonkers” when looking for the best dance party in Brooklyn) Read More

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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

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MOAR Deals! Foursquare Partners With Scoutmob

Scoutmob deals served up in the foursquare app

New York’s most itterative location based social network likes to pitch itself as the modern day loyalty card, so it makes sense that it would want to offer its users deals and discounts when they check in. But rather than building out an extensive sales force, it has been adding deals from companies like LivingSocial, Gilt Groupe, AT&T, Zozi and Groupon.

Now foursquare is partnering with Atlanta based Scoutmob to add another 500 local deals in 13 American cities. “Of all the deal integrations we’ve done, the Scoutmob partnership most closely aligns with our own Specials format, where no payment is required to redeem deals spontaneously” said Tristan Walker, Director of Business Development at foursquare.  Read More

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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

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Foursquare’s Alex Rainert Talks iOS 5: The Technology Has Finally Caught Up With Our Vision

This will go great with our Sonar

The newest version of Apple’s mobile operating system rolled out today, and foursquare is leveraging the new technology to launch Radar, the first passive feature the company has ever released.

“Up till now, you had to open the app to learn what was going on around you. A lot of times you had to check in before you saw what friends were in your area,” said Alex Rainert, foursquare’s head of product. “Now we can deliver users information that is contextual and relevant without them having to do anything at all.”

So for example if a foursquare user is in a new part of their city and walks close to a restaurant on their “To Do” list, the phone can ping them with an alert. During a night on the town, the Radar feature can sense when a group of friends has checked in close to a user and give them a heads up. Read More

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When Will Foursquare’s Relentless Onslaught of New Features End?

Check in and multiply

Monday it was lists. Tuesday it was photos. Wednesday it went global. Thursday it was events. Friday it was deep data.

As Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley said back in April, the focus for 2010 and the beginning of 2011 was on scaling the company’s backend and staff so that it could handle its rapidly growing user base. ” A big part of the last year was just spent keeping things up and running. You remember Twitter went through all those problems, we’re not out of the weeds yet, but we went through all those problems this summer (2010).”

With the basics squared away, a new office on the West Coast and $50 million in the bank, Foursquare is suddenly announcing new features, updates, partnerships and events at a breakneck pace. Read More