Co-founder Lawrence Coburn describes the company as “distributed Yelp for everything,” and the site’s front page shows off a wide range of topics — the “featured lists” include reviews of Barack Obama’s potential vice presidents, mobile social networks and NBA finals players. If users write a review, they get a portion of the associated advertising revenue through the Google AdSense API, which should certainly encourage people to contribute. (Yelp, on the other hand, sorts its reviews by location, is best-known for restaurant reviews and doesn’t offer any financial incentive to users for contributing — although the lack of payment hasn’t led to a dearth of reviews.)
The reviews can also be distributed to other sites as widgets.
To get a sense of the content available on RateItAll, I checked out the mobile social networks list. Although it includes 23 networks, only six have been rated, and most of them have only been reviewed once or twice. (The exception is Twitter.) Some other lists have more activity, but the variety of lists is more impressive than the content on any one of them.
Still, the numbers Coburn offers are pretty good. The site was founded in 1999 but lay dormant for many years, and was relaunched in 2006. With just one full-time employee, RateItAll made $160,000 in revenue last year. That team now includes four people, and RateItAll reported 1 million visits in May.
Investors include Accelerator Ventures, JAIC America, Pacific I&T Ventures and Eric Di Benedetto. Although the press release doesn’t disclose the size of the funding, Coburn confirmed that it was $800,000, as reported by TechCrunch. Coburn says he hopes to close a second part of the round in the next month or so, potentially bringing the total funding to $1.3 million.