techcrunch.com | June 13, 2012
By Anthony Ha
Email marketing company Constant Contact has acquired SinglePlatform, a startup that helps local businesses manage their online presence.
The deal is for $65 million cash, plus a $5 million cash and equity earn out for employee retention, as well as another $30 million tied to revenue targets. Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman says that to get the full revenue earn out, the SinglePlatform team would need to bring in about $75 million over the next two years.
Goodman says the acquired team will continue to operate “pretty independently” out of its New York City office (Constant Contact is headquartered in Waltham, Mass.), and that it will offer SinglePlatform as a standalone product. The startup’s CEO Wiley Cerilli will become general manager and vice president of SinglePlatform.
One big change: After the acquisition, SinglePlatform’s basic listings product will become free, while the company continues to charge for the full Digital Storefront product, which allows customers to add things like menus, services, and pricing to their listings. Why the change? For one thing, Goodman says many small businesses are coming to see having accurate contact information online as “a right, rather than something they should have to pay for.”
Both Goodman and Cerilli emphasize the connection between the companies’ missions, saying they’re trying to serve local businesses in complementary ways. There’s a lot of potential to introduce SinglePlatform’s 10,000 customers to Constant Contact, and to introduce SinglePlatform to Constant Contact’s 500,000 customers.
“SinglePlatform helps the consumer find the business — ConstantContact helps that business capture that consumer and turn them into a repeat customers,” Goodman says, adding, “There’s a great fit between the products, but not necessarily a need for deep technical integration.”
Yesterday, I wrote about Yext, a startup that also helps businesses update their listings across multiple sites, and that just raised funding at a $270 million valuation. Asked about how SinglePlatform stood out in the competitive landscape, Goodman points to the network of publishers who distribute its listings (including Foursquare, The New York Times, YP, and UrbanSpoon) and to the richness of the full digital storefront.
SinglePlatform has raised a total of $4.45 million in funding from investors including DFJ Gotham Ventures, New World Ventures, First Round Capital, RRE Ventures, and Jason Finger.