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Yext, a company that helps local businesses manage their listing information online, is gearing up to break out of the U.S. with its latest funding round.
The New York City-based company announced today that it has received a $50 million round of funding led by Deven Parekh of Insight Venture Partners. This is Yext’s sixth round of funding, bringing its total to around $115 million.
Yext plans to invest the new funding in upcoming products and international expansion, cofounder and CEO Howard Lerman told me in an interview. The company plans to launch in Germany, Australia, Canada, and the U.K. later this year. It will hit the rest of Europe and Asia in 2015.
“Half of all searches are mobile, half of all mobile searches are local. … Yext is basically a marketer’s solution for local search,” Lerman said. He also pointed out that Yext’s technology can help businesses with location-based mobile ads.
Yext gives businesses a single interface to manage their local listings across the web, including sites like Yelp, WhitePages, and Yahoo. Given the rising importance of local search, especially on mobile devices, Yext helps businesses avoid losing out on potential customers by having incorrect information online.
Lerman describes this latest funding as more like a second or third round, even though it’s technically its sixth. Yext pivoted a few years ago when it sold off its original pay-per-call ad business to fuel development for its online listing product.
Yext expects to see around $55 million in revenue this year, up from $34 million last year. The company’s platform now includes more than 300,000 customers, more than 300 of which are Fortune 2000 companies. Yext expects to be profitable next year.
“You always want to have capital for a rainy day, you raise money from a position of strength and not weakness,” Lerman said, explaining why he opted for another round of funding. Additionally, this latest round lets Yext put off an IPO until next year as it grows its business independently.
“The one thing I learned [since Yext’s last funding round two years ago] is that geomarketing is in its infancy,” Lerman said. “Two years ago mobile advertising was in its infancy. … What we’re seeing now is the renaissance, we’re seeing the opportunity for marketers to use digital media off of mobile to drive people into stores.”
Founded in 2006, Yext is the next Yellow Pages, offering superior local services to users, advertisers and publishers. Nearly 20,000 customers are now connected to Yext Calls, the company's flagship advertising service that sends local... read more »
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