As each new social network or listings site pops up, it becomes harder for retailers to keep information about their stores up to date and accurate. And that’s a wonderful thing for Yext.
The New York City-based company provides what is essentially a content management system for retailers, banks and some small businesses. This system gives the business a central place to log in and update information about individual store locations, hours and featured products. Once updated, Yext’s technology automatically synchronizes that information across social networks such as Foursquare, Facebook and Google+ (which seeds info on Google Maps) and listing services such as Yelp and Bing. The company also powers retailers’ store locator pages on websites and apps.
Yext is now raising a $50 million investment, led by Insight Venture Partners, in part to support expansion into the U.K., Canada, Australia and Germany and to invest in developing new products. The company is now valued at $525 million after the investment, according to a person familiar with the transaction.
“This gives us the resources to build a big, independent company that serves as the world’s clearinghouse for location data,” CEO Howard Lerman said in an email. “So we’re in it for the long haul.”
Lerman said large brands pay Yext anywhere between $15,000 and $25,000 a year, plus a few hundred dollars per store location. Yext pulled in $34 million in revenue in 2013, Lerman said. It is projecting to hit $55 million this year, and more than $80 million next year when Lerman expects the business to cross over into the black.
Yext has now landed more than $115 million in investments, but about $40 million of that was raised before the company sold off part of the business that was focused on a pay-per-call ad product.