Free directory assistance provider Jingle Networks said today it had raised $30 million in Series C financing, bringing its total funding to over $60 million and its post-money valuation to more than $150 million. Jingle has been able to attract so much money because it’s bringing the ad-supported business model that we talk about all the time to an area that’s relatively unpolluted with ads.
The company operates 1-800-FREE411, which dispenses free directory assistance in exchange for targeted advertising – ideally for a direct competitor to the business you’re seeking. Though we use the service a fair amount, we have yet to hear an ad that is an appropriate alternative to the business we are looking up.
At the same time, our non-techie friends instantly understand the Jingle concept, and this obviousness seems responsible for its 13 million inquiries each month, or three percent of the directory assistance market. We hope the company doesn’t have to raise any more money before it can finally have an inventory of relevant ads!
Jingle’s funders now include Goldman Sachs, Hearst Corporation, Comcast Interactive Capital, First Round Capital, IDG Ventures Boston and Liberty Associated Partners.