Yext is unloading its pay-per-call business to IAC’s CityGrid Media to focus on the opportunity of organizing local online business listing information for small businesses and big companies. The details of the sale were not released but TechCrunch is reporting that Yext sold its Felix pay-per-call business for around $30 million.
Yext’s CEO and co-founder Howard Lerman said in a blog post that the sale was an effort to put more capital behind Yext’s PowerListings product, which syncs business location information across multiple platforms and allows businesses to easily manage their online presence. He said the idea came from Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz, who suggested he shed the pay-per-call business and use the proceeds to double down on PowerListings.
Pay-per-call has been a solid business for New York City-based Yext but its growth prospects were limited. It served businesses that paid when customers called them after seeing the merchant on directory listings or in ads. But the fastest and more promising opportunity was in PowerListings, which simplified the task of managing various online listings on sites and apps like Yelp, Citysearch, Foursquare, Yahoo Local, Mapquest and many others. Since launching a little over a year ago, PowerListings now syncs millions of updates for more than 70,000 customer locations. Its clients include tens of thousands of small businesses and 10 Fortune 100 companies.
Combined with $27 million from a recent funding round two months ago, Yext is in a good position to continue to grow its PowerListings business. It will need the money as it competes against Constant Contact, which paid $65 million in June for SinglePlatform, another New York City start-up that helps local businesses manage their online presence. The showdown highlights the growing opportunity in the local market as merchants and small businesses look for ways to advertise online and in the mobile browser and update their business information on a variety of platforms.