The money is moving quickly into the third-party SMB reseller space. ReachLocal has applied for a $100 million IPO, which could go out this spring. In hopes of similar paydays, its rivals are raising hordes of cash. Yodle, for instance, has announced that it has added $10 million, boosting its total amount raised $38 million. And now WebVisible has announced a $20 million round, making its total amount raised $37 million.
According to paidContent, the new round was led by Adams Street Partners, a Chicago-based PE firm. WebVisible’s last round, for $12 million, was led by Sutter Hill Ventures, with previous backer Redpoint Ventures.
WebVisible CEO Kirsten Mangers tells us that she would certainly claim certain competitive advantages over ReachLocal. But Reach’s “explosive growth shows that the market is solid; it is really good green field. Local interactive is the emerging field in interactive,” she adds. “Wall Street will show its support of the business mode.”
While WebVisible doesn’t disclose earnings, Mangers notes that it had 113 percent year-over-year growth in 2009, and a client roster of 40,000 to 45,000 active SMBs. More than 100,000 accounts have worked with WebVisible at one time or another. Top partners include AT&T, Intuit and BT.
WebVisible has also greatly boosted its presence in its size and international presence, with operations in Europe and Australia. Several international deals are pending, adds Mangers. It is also investing heavily in its “Geneva” (i.e., neutral) technology platform.
With the rise of mobile, WebVisible has been especially focused on building “multi-media, multi-device and multi-persona” capabilities that can effectively reach users in different places and dayparts,” says Mangers. “Local is where the consumer says it is.” While mobile is still a minor piece of the puzzle, Mangers predicts “it will be a rather high percentage in the course of the next 24 months.”
But, she emphasizes, it is important not to get too far ahead of the cart. “So many SMBs still haven’t tipped their toes into the search waters yet.”