“Mr. Mayor, I know you’re wearing a suit on the outside. But this industry is all about hoodies, and I know based on who you are you’re a hoodie on the inside,” CEO Howard Lerman told Mike Bloomberg, presenting the mayor with his very own honorary pullover–Yext branded, of course.
As he took it, Mayor Bloomberg informed the shaggy entrepreneur that, “My mother would have said you needed a haircut.” A room full of techies held up their smartphones for a digital souvenir of the moment.
Back in July, Yext, which helps businesses sync location data across the web, raised a $27 million series E at an eye-popping $270 million valuation. Scads had RSVP’d for the party, a housewarming for the startup’s spacious new offices at One Madison Avenue. The spread was impressive, with bartenders pouring top-shelf liquor into wine glasses and stations staffed by local businesses like Luke’s Lobster and Brooklyn Brewery scattered throughout. Betabeat spotted former Bloomberg spox Stu Loeser at check-in, and we bumped into GroupMe cofounder Steve Martocci at the Wildwood BBQ table (he shared our positive assessment of the pulled pork).
“Now I can be an official Yext geek,” the Mayor continued, “which I’ve always wanted to do. And when the bankers at Credit Suisse see you wearing these, they’re going to be so jealous…maybe they’ll become investors.”
Mayor Bloomberg was appearing in his capacity as cheerleader-in-chief, so he quickly ceased the goofing to congratulate the Yext team on their growth (the startup doubled in size last year), and rattle off his usual Made in NY stats (more venture capital raised between ’07 and ’11; the number-one area for growth in the mobile apps industry, yadda yadda yadda). In less than five minutes, he’d concluded his remarks and melted into the background, stopping by Asia Dog on his way out.
“Well, that was fucking surreal,” remarked one Yext employee to a friend. “Yeah, you don’t often see the Mayor in your office,” his pal replied.