Significant news in the online presence/reputation management space came across the wire at BIA/Kelsey’s Leading in Local conference last week in Boston, as VendAsta announced $8.25 million in Series B funding to accelerate the company’s holistic identity/reputation/social management solution.
In just over two years, it has established a deep network of local publishers (Cox Media Group, Gannett, GateHouse Media, Hearst) and solutions providers (Web.com) that reach more than 100,000 SMBs in aggregate. VendAsta launched with a core focus on reviews/reputation monitoring, but has since expanded into social monitoring, engagement and lead generation. While maintaining a strong foothold with SMBs, it has also moved upstream into reputation management for brands.
BIA/Kelsey forecasts e-mail & reputation/presence management to grow into a $2.5 billion market in the U.S. by 2016. Enterprise will increasingly contribute to that spend as investment is made to combat digital brand fragmentation and localize advertising and marketing.
At the SMB level, with consumers flocking to new channels and operators now using 8-10 different media for advertising and promotion to reach them, a reputation solution is a central component of a digital offering for anyone in the SMB services business. With its latest round of funding backing up its recent product expansions, VendAsta is well-positioned as a critical player in the race to create the integrated dashboard.