Local businesses are notoriously lazy about their marketing. That's why paying about $500 a month to be in the yellow pages was a no brainer. But the Internet has been a far more complicated proposition for them.
Now Yext has a super simple solution to allow local businesses to have a centralized location to manage their marketing across 50 sites.
So popular is the business that Yext has signed up 50,000 businesses, only after launching its so-called power listings service 18 months ago, said Howard Lerman, Yext co-founder & CEO, in an interview with me.
It's no wonder that Yext has gotten some VC traction. The company announced Tuesday that it's raised $27 million in a Series E round of invesetment, led by Marker, a new fund by Rick Scanion, the founder of Crescent Point Capital Group, with participation from CrunchFund and existing investors, Sutter Hill Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) and WGI Group.
In total, Yext has raised $65 million, since being founded in 2006. Yext's valuation after this round is $270 million (post-money valuation), according to sources.
Yext expects to generate $50 million in revenue this year, with $20 million of that total coming from the sale of power listings. The other $30 million is expected to come from Yext's former business line of selling pay-per-call services.
"About 18 months we launched a completely new business," said Lerman. "And we spun out our old business. [Because] we saw a business with a chance to change the world. Power listings helps local businesses update their profiles across 50 sources, including Yelp, Yahoo, Mapquest, and Foursquare."
The service allows businesses to change copy, add photos, add promotions in one place and it's automatically updated across the 50 sites. And, the service costs only $500 a month.