howard lerman
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From TC50 To A $25M Funding Round And A Spin-Off, Yext’s Howard Lerman Tells All

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Yext has been making waves of late, what with the spin-off of their original pay-per-call ad business which has been renamed Felix and the launch of their new business, PowerListings. But this is far from the beginning for Yext — the company first hit the scene way back in 2009 at our TC50 conference.

That means founder and CEO Howard Lerman is about as close to a Disrupt veteran as you can get, seeing as though he was launching at Disrupt before we even called it Disrupt (tickets here).

I asked him to come into the AOL headquarters to discuss what TC50 did for his brand and the company’s overall success, as a part of my “Disrupt Alumni: Where They Are Now” series.

In the words of Lerman, TC50 led to a $25 million C-series round led by IVP and Sutter Hill less than two weeks after the company launched. But his advice to new entrepreneurs is very simple. Despite whatever success or difficulties you may have with your business, know that things can always change.

He saw a better growth opportunity for Yext’s PowerListings tool than he ever saw for Felix, the original pay-per-call business. That didn’t necessarily mean that Yext should abandon its root business, but instead they’re growing the two companies separately to get the most value out of each.

Lerman also warned entrepreneurs to be picky and careful about choosing founders. “You’re entering into a marriage with that person,” said Lerman.

Disrupt NYC is set to be one of our biggest shows yet, with returns from Michael Arrington and MG Siegler, along with a variety of big names like Marissa Mayer, Sarah Tavel, Fred Wilson, and David Lee and more. It’s going to be huge.

If you’re interested in checking out Disrupt and/or the Hackathon yourself, tickets are still on sale here and info on the Hackathon can be found here. Companies who want to join the Battleground can apply for the last remaining spots in Startup Alley. You can find the full agenda here.