Mark Cuban, the dot-com entrepreneur who has launched Broadcast.com and HDNet and now has greater renown as the colorful owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has given the entire local ecosystem a big shot in the arm by investing in CitySquares, the New England-based local business directory that is going national. In September 2008, CitySquares had 1 million unique visitors, according to Quantcast.
“We recognize the value of local search and see CitySquares as a dynamic player in that space,” said Cuban, in a press release.
Cuban invested in the round, following the lead of Jonathan Kraft of The Kraft Group, which owns various real estate holdings in New England. (Jonathan Kraft is the son of New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft.) The size of the round and the respective investments of Cuban and Kraft were not disclosed, but it is more than nominal, says CitySquares CEO Ben Saren. CitySquares had previously raised $1.5 million.
Jonathan Kraft’s investment is potentially leveraged in many ways, adds Saren. He notes The Kraft Group is a major commercial real estate developer (i.e., the mega Patriot Place development next to Gillette Stadium). The company is currently threading together numerous tech investments and plans to try to use them to support small New England businesses.