On the Town
“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.
Ain’t no shame in the pivot game, especially not when looking beyond your first idea can pay off so handsomely. Yext CEO Howard Lerman sent out an email today announcing that his start-up just raised $10 million Series D round from led by its inside investors WGI Group, the investment vehicle run by entrepreneurs Michael Walrath, Jonah Goodhart, and Noah Goodhart. The internal round raises the company’s valuation higher than the $25 million valuation it got for its series C round two years ago.
But rather than use the funding to continue on building its initial premise–pay-per-call ads for local business–Mr. Lerman is thinking bigger toward what TechCrunch once called, “The Anti-Google Local Advertising Alliance.”
Since 2007, the company grew Yext Calls into 15 verticals that cover roughly 200,000 potential business locations around the country. It was enough to get Mr. Lerman interest from would-be buyers. But it wasn’t enough for Mr. Lerman: