AlikeList raises $5M to help local businesses get discovered

alike 2AlikeList is applying social networking to the discovery of local businesses. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said today it has raised $5 million in a first round of funding to expand its social platform for listing, referring, and discovering trusted local businesses.

The company says that when looking for a local business — a restaurant, doctor, or contractor — people trust the recommendations of people they know. Based on this principle, the company created a social network where people save lists of positive recommendations for local businesses and then share them with friends. People can “like” businesses or add them to a “try list.”

AlikeList thus accelerates word-of-mouth marketing. Businesses can pay subscription fees and usage fees to the company to target specific users with special offers.

alike 1It probably beats going through the local Yellow Pages to find a plumber. On the other hand, you have to hope that savvy local businesses won’t just get all of their friends to say they “like” them. If enough people vote, then you’ll probably get something closer to real collective opinions.

The financing came from Syncom Venture Partners. The company plans to use the money for product development, getting customers, and expanding the executive team.

The company’s chief executive is Jim Delli Santi and head of product development is Mark Law. AlikeList was founded in 2008. There are rivals that do similar things, such as Yelp and Angie’s List.

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