July 28, 2016

In the News: Infusionsoft Expands Offerings, Meerkat Cuts Video Streaming


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Ease of use is important when it comes to building business tools. That’s why Infusionsoft recently announced expanded payment solutions to make running the tool easier for small businesses.

While Infusionsoft was expanding its offerings, another service provider was simplifying theirs. Meerkat recently announced that it’s dropping the livestreaming part of its service and just focusing on its video network. These updates and more are included below in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

Technology Trends

Infusionsoft Expands Its Payments Solutions

If there was a recurring theme at the recent ICON16 event, an annual meeting held for its users by Infusionsoft, it was about “building ease of use” for its customers. In fact, those were the exact words used by Chief Products Officer Terry Hicks in a media briefing.

Meerkat Drops Livestreaming, Concentrates on Video Network

Meerkat — the live video streaming app — is throwing in the towel on live streaming. About a year ago, the startup was a favorite at South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, where the festival-goers were entranced by how easily they could use their smartphones to broadcast live video over the Internet.

New Intel Initiatives for Small Business Technology Shared

Intel Corporation, best known for the speed of its processors used in many computers, tablets and smartphones, is unveiling a new set of products for small business owners. Chad Constant, director of marketing and business for Intel, says the company has designed a solution available with its latest generation of core processor.

Economy

Booker Completes Acquisition of Frederick to Amp Up Marketing Capabilities for Service Businesses

Booker Software, headquartered in New York City, is announcing the acquisition of San Francisco-based Frederick. The purchase amps up Booker’s marketing capabilities for service businesses. Frederick is a software company with tools that help small service businesses to automatically sync their schedule with a highly targeted campaign of emails and promotions.

Skilled Professionals Will Dominate Gig Economy, Report Says

Not too long ago, the only people who looked for “gigs” were musicians. Today, however, it is difficult to escape news of the growing gig economy. Reporters and analysts are sharply focused on upstart ride-for-hire platforms like Uber and Lyft and online delivery platforms like Instacart, as well as the workers in these on-demand services.

comScore Delays Earnings Report, Shares Fall

The Internet analytics company comScore is delaying its earnings report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and has also suspended a $125 million stock buyback program. comScore provides market analytics and data to many of the world’s largest publishers, enterprises and agencies.

Are Small Businesses Growing? The Short Answer Is…

Yes! Economic slump notwithstanding, small businesses in the United States are doing much better than expected. According to the latest Store Front Business Index (SFBI) (PDF), a collaboration between CAN Capital and PYMNTS.com, small businesses are growing faster than the U.S. GDP — 3.1 percent versus 2.7 percent. Specifically, the Store Front Business Index stood at 112.

Shutterstock Revenue for 2015 Sees 30 Percent Increase

Shutterstock has announced its earnings for Q4 2015 with revenue reported at $116 million. Earnings per share were at $0.38. The results fall slightly short of earlier projections of $117.42 million in revenue with earnings per share at $0.33.

Marketing Tips

Digital Magazine Platform Issuu – Targeted Distribution Service Soon to Shut Down

Digital magazine platform, Issuu, is shutting down its Targeted Distribution (TD) campaigns service, effective April 1, 2016. This, however, is no April Fool’s Day prank! Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, Issuu is a platform that allows anyone with digital content to upload and distribute their publications in just a few minutes.

Animaker Launches Video Infographics

Businesses are now generating more data than ever, but the way it is presented can put the vast majority of people to sleep. Unless you’re a statistician, the numbers and graphs in reports, presentations and even infographics all look the same after a while.

Retail Trends

Sonar Expands It’s SMS Capability By Integrating With Shopify

A mobile-first world and an on-demand economy has introduced a level of engagement between consumers and businesses that, for the most part, has been mutually beneficial. For companies, it means making contact without pushing away the customer, and using the right technology to fully take advantage of the opportunities.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Yoga Sak Provides a Convenient Carrier for Yogis

Transporting yoga gear isn’t as easy as it might seem. The mats are bulky and don’t fit in most standard bags. And if you have water and other gear to carry along with it, it can make going to yoga classes a real chore. But that’s where the Yoga Sak comes in. The product was invented to solve one simple problem — carrying yoga gear.

Small Business Operations

Did You Know the Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act Raises Duty Free Limit?

A newly passed piece of trade legislation may make it easier for small businesses to compete by simplifying the import process. The U.S. Senate has passed the Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act of 2015 (PDF), which will modernize and expedite the customs clearance process — fulfilling a long-standing wish of American businesses.

Startup

99Designs Rebrand Announced, Proprietary Financial Data Released

Popular design crowdsourcing site 99designs is on a roll. In its eighth consecutive year of double-digit growth, a 99designs rebrand has been announced and the company reveals it has achieved revenue of nearly $60 million.

Taxes

Free Tax eBook: Guide to Tax Prep for Small Businesses

National Funding Inc., an alternative lender specializing in small business loans, has launched a free tax eBook for small business owners in anticipation of the April 15 tax return deadline.

VC & Angel Capital

Main Street Growth Bill Gives Businesses More Access to Funding

A new bill that was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives could make it easier for small businesses to access funding. Reps. Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Scott Garrett (R-NJ) have introduced the Main Street Growth Act.

Have Valuations of Early Stage Companies Gotten Too High for Angels?

Data from the law firm Cooley LLP indicates that valuations of early stage companies came down from the stratosphere in the fourth quarter of last year, declining from $19 million to $16 million. That’s good news for investors.

Image: Small Business Trends

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