Yell Acquires Znode for New E-Commerce Platform

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Yell announced today that it acquired Znode, an e-commere software development company in a deal valued at $19 million. Znode will be incorporated into Yell Group as part of its new consumer division, Yell Connect. Znode’s technology will serve as an e-commerce platform for the U.K.-based Yellow Pages publisher. In May, we summarized Yell Group’s fiscal results with its prediction that 75 percent of products will be digital by 2015. If so, this latest acquisition, which is scheduled to be complete later this month, is on target.

E-commerce is part of Yell’s new strategy to connect small businesses with consumers on a local level. A few of the digital services that Znode will provide include turnkey mobile apps that work across iPhone, iPad and Android based phones, single and multi-store e-commerce, and mobile technology that enables storefronts to be “pushed” to mobile phones and tablets in real time. In addition, the Znode e-commerce platform will help Yell automate its own transaction system with trackable performance to enhance efficiency and the customer experience.

Columbus, Ohio-based Znode is financed by North Coast Angel Fund. It is the first company under the fund’s umbrella to be sold. Last November, North Coast invested $200,000 into Znode in addition to the investments of several individual members of the fund.

In other recent news, Yell Group has named Richard Hanscott as the CEO of Yell UK. Hanscott comes to Yell with an IT and telecommunications background, with leadership stints at NEC, Orange and Hewlett-Packard.

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