Local Market Launch, a startup that helps companies manage the online presence of local stores, is announcing that it has raised $1.5 million in Series A funding.
The company was founded by Brian Coryat, who previously founded ValueClick, an online ad company that went public in 2000. Coryat told me that he spent much of the past decade working with small businesses, and that Local Market Launch was created to address one of the big issues that he saw during that time — the need to manage the presence of these businesses on the web, both through their own websites and their listings on other properties. There are companies tackling parts of the problem, he said, but it’s a fragmented landscape with tools that aren’t easy to use.
“Our charge is to make businesses findable on all locations, apps and devices,” Coryat said.
There are three main pieces to the startup’s offerings for multi-lcoation businesses. First, it creates a landing page for each location, and each page is optimized for local search, he said. Second, it promotes those pages by pushing out the information to a number of search portals and channel partners. Third, it offers monitoring tools so businesses can track social media buzz and reviews.
The company launched in 2012, and Coryat said it doesn’t usually work with these businesses directly — instead, its customers are print directories who can sell Local Market Launch as part of their services, as well as certified marketing representatives (basically, agencies who work with these types of businesses).
As for the funding, it comes from Rincon Venture Partners. Combined with seed funding provided by Coryat himself, Local Market Launch has raised a total of $2.7 million.
Rincon general partner John Greathouse told me that his firm likes to work with “serial entrepreneurs in an adjacent space” — in this case, Coryat actually tackled a similar problem with his first company, AAA Internet Promotions. Greathouse also emphasized that Local Market Launch is trying to drive real-world sales: “If you boil it all down, the goal of Local Market Launch is to generate door swings and phone rings.”
I asked Coryat about the competitive landscape, particularly Yext, a company that helps local businesses update their listings across a range of websites. He replied that Yext has “kind of a neat platform,” but he said that for most small businesses, the real-time updating that Yext emphasizes just isn’t as important, and that Yext doesn’t have Local Market Launch’s focus on optimizing for Google.