How Thumbtack Built a Huge Local Services Marketplace


Thumbtack, an online marketplace for local services, yesterday announced a $100M funding round led by Google Ventures. Building a local services marketplace is a notoriously difficult problem that has beaten many entrepreneurs. So how did Thumbtack get where they are? What tactics are behind their apparent success? The founder of Thumbtack, Marco Zappacosta, was interviewed by Andrew Warner of […]

What’s the Future of Local Advertising?

What will local advertising look like a few years from now? BIA/Kelsey recently released the following slides about the local ad marketplace in the US. A few interesting points they make: It’s Big – The local ad market brings in $133 billion annually It’s Fairly Traditional – 92% of local ad spending still goes to […]

Google Boost – Simpler Self-Service Ads for Local Businesses

Google today announced ‘Boost’ a new, simplified self-service ad offering. It’s in beta for the time-being and only available in a few cities in the US, but it could be an interesting step in helping small businesses get started with online advertising. Google have, for some time now, been encouraging small, local businesses to set […]

Realities of Small Business Websites

I spend a lot of time with people who know a lot about the web. They’re either building online businesses or they’re 30-something friends who live in London and who use the internet frequently in their day-to-day lives. That’s why I found it interesting recently to work with someone who’s outside of that circle, to […]

Group-Buying Deals for London

DealBunch logo

Very soon, together with my co-founders, I’m going to be launching a new venture. Like VouChaCha, it’s going to offer local deals. And like MenuLover, it’s food-related. This time, though, there’s a new twist: group buying. The group buying bit works like this: When you sign up for our service, we use the bargaining power […]

Launch48 – Launching a Start-up in a Weekend

Screen shot 2011-12-02 at 11.39.06

Making Stuff Happen in 48 Hours The last couple of days I was involved in another “build a website in 48 hours” event. This time, it was Launch48, organised by a couple of friends of mine, Ian Broom and Adil Mohammed. Thanks to lots of great work from Ian and Adil, some generous sponsors who […]

Local Search Habits: Findings from a Yahoo Study

Greg Sterling over on Search Engine Land shared some interesting findings the other day from a Yahoo study into consumers’ behaviour when choosing local services and providers. The numbers regarding consumers’ choice of research tools (generic search engine vs. vertical search engine vs. internet yellow pages) are particularly interesting as there’s quite a lot of […]

UpMyStreet Gets a Makeover, Improves Local Search

UpMyStreet front page

One of the more successful UK hyperlocal sites so far, UpMyStreet, has had a makeover. It has a new homepage and, according to the site themselves, improved local business search and rating functionality. Do the updates to their local review system mean they’re keen to get into the space that the likes of Qype and […] to Launch UK Version of its Hyperlocal News Site

photo credit: Mr. Siegal According to today, hyperlocal news site has confirmed that it will be launching a UK version. They report that the UK site is currently in beta. currently powers ‘buzz maps‘ for the Washington Post that show which places are currently being mentioned most by local bloggers. No doubt […]

Trinity Mirror Starts Geotagging Local News

photo credit: Peter Ito The Guardian’s Oliver Luft reported on Wednesday that the Trinity Mirror-owned Liverpool Echo has launched a map-based news service where they are geotagging news stories and allowing for postcode-based searches. According to the article, Trinity Mirror have plans to roll this out more widely. Trinity Mirror also have other experiments with […]