New Funding: A Conversation With Yodle
Following Yodle’s $10 million C Round funding announcement yesterday, I had the chance to talk to founder Nathaniel Stevens. The funding, for one thing, is a good vote of confidence for Yodle and its market opportunity, despite the current economic environment.
It’s also supportive of the notion that many advertisers are demanding more measurability in their local advertising campaigns and moving ad dollars online. This is happening first and foremost with search, which is the bread and butter of local SEM firms like Yodle and Reach Local (which has raised $65 million to date). Lots of data, including our own, show search as one of the few advertising categories that are growing (also see WebVisible/Nielsen data just released).
In addition to funding, Yodle announced some pretty substantial growth metrics for 2008, including 700 percent year-over-year revenue growth, 5000 advertisers (up from 125 in 2006), 250 employees (up from nine in 2006). TechCrunch also reports a Q4 run rate of $30 million.
Stevens attributes most of this growth to market trends that are causing advertisers to catch up with users’ general migration online, as well as the economic factors mentioned above.
“In the earlier part of the decade, there was more of an imbalance in the number of consumers that were referencing Web properties and the number of advertisers that were there. Now we’re seeing that supply and demand evening out more,” he said. “Additional components are making it more effective for SMB advertisers when you look at geotargeting, performance tracking, Web analytics and call analytics.”
The company will apply the funding to improve its technology platform, and the thing that probably sets it apart the most as a local SEM firm: its direct sales channel.
“We’re making big investments into our technology and distribution,” said Stevens. “That includes advertiser acquisition as well as consumer acquisition. It’s important to go direct and build relationships to understand these small and medium-sized businesses.”