About six months ago, local advertising company Yext made a big bet on a new market. It’s pay-per-call business was growing at a rapid clip, but was limited in its potential reach. So CEO Howard Lerman spent $10 million building an entirely new and complementary product that lets local businesses manage their listings across dozens of sites like Yelp, SuperPages, Citysearch, Mapquest, Local.com, and Yahoo Local.
Yext now has 30,000 paying subscribers to PowerListings, up from about 500 six months ago. With one account, a small business can update their listings across all of these local sites from a central Yext PowerListings dashboard. It solves a huge headache for small businesses who can be bewildered with managing their profiles and listings across the myriad local sites on the Web. They have been signing up in droves for these accounts, which cost $400 a year.
Again, these are paying customers. The PowerListings business is on a $12 million revenue run-rate, and Lerman expects it to surpass his pay-per-call business by the middle of next year.He hints that more local listings partners will be added to the service in December.
What Yext is doing here is creating a very clean database of local listings which are updated by the businesses themselves and then syndicated to local listings sites across the Web. With one change on PowerListings, a small business can make changes across Yahoo Local, Superpages, Yelp, and more all directly through APIs. Yext is building the central database for local businesses, and that could end up being very powerful indeed.