Yodle Raises $12 Million

Yodle Inc., a New York-based provider of local online advertising and lead generation, has raised $12 million in second-round funding. Draper Fisher Jurvetson led the deal, and was joined by return backer Bessemer Venture Partners.



Yodle, Inc., a leader in local online advertising and lead generation, announced today that it raised $12 million in a round of financing led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, with existing investor Bessemer Venture Partners also participating in the round. The new funding is the second round of successful financing for the rapidly growing New York based start-up.

Yodle’s goal is to make buying online ads simple and easy for small businesses and to offer a high-performing, cost-effective alternative to the outdated Yellow Pages, previously the standard for small business advertising.

“Today, 63 percent of consumers primarily search for local businesses online; Yodle is tapping this enormous advertising market to drive customers to businesses in a way that has never been done before. With Draper Fisher Jurvetson’s financing, we will be able to complete our national rollout and offer our services to small businesses across the country,” said Court Cunningham, CEO of Yodle.

Yodle delivers tangible results for its customers, focusing on generating phone calls instead of web clicks. It’s estimated that $1 invested with Yodle results in $8 in additional profit for small businesses such as electricians, lawyers, doctors, roofers and even florists.

Andreas Stavropoulos, managing director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, added: “What impressed us about Yodle was its ability to deliver a high and steady volume of quality consumer phone calls to small businesses in a simple yet reliable way. Customer loyalty to the Yodle product is higher than that of any competitor in the market we have seen.”

In addition, Yodle has developed a proprietary media buying platform to squeeze maximum performance out of every dollar it spends in online advertising for clients.

“Yodle now offers small business owners something they have never had before; they know exactly what their return on investment is using Yodle’s industry leading Call Tracking and integrated Lead Manager tools. This level of transparency is new to small business owners who traditionally advertise in the Yellow Pages. With no long-term contracts and a clear method to track performance, this is low risk and potentially high reward investment for any small business to make,” said Cunningham.

Yodle is experiencing dynamic and rapid growth: 400% in the third quarter 2007 vs. third quarter 2006. Yodle was founded in Philadelphia in 2005 by Nathaniel Stevens, a recent finalist for Business Week’s “America’s Best Young Entrepreneurs 2007.” Yodle now operates offices out of New York, Washington DC, Boston, Atlanta, as well as Philadelphia.

About Yodle, Inc.

Yodle provides local businesses with a simple way to get more customers and phone calls using online marketing. Yodle, a company funded by Bessemer Venture Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson, is transforming local online advertising by connecting local business owners with consumers in a simple, measurable and relevant way. Yodle has developed an integrated approach to signing up and serving local businesses that are transitioning their marketing budgets online. Yodle operates offices out of New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Boston. To find out more about Yodle, go to www.yodle.com .

About Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Draper Fisher Jurvetson is a leading venture capital firm with a global presence through a network of affiliated funds, with offices in more than 30 cities around the world and approximately $6 Billion in capital commitments. DFJ’s mission is to identify, serve and provide capital for extraordinary entrepreneurs anywhere who are determined to change the world. Over the past twenty years, DFJ has been proud to back over 500 companies across many sectors including such industry changing catalysts as Hotmail (acquired by MSFT), Baidu (BIDU), Skype (acquired by EBAY), EnerNOC (ENOC), athenahealth (ATHN), Focus Media (FMCN), Mobile 365 (acquired by Sybase), xFire (acquired by Viacom), United Online (UNTD), Overture (acquired by YHOO), Interwoven (IWOV), Four11 (acquired by YHOO), Massive (acquired by MSFT), Parametric (PMTC) and Mozy (acquired by EMC).

About Bessemer Venture Partners

As the oldest venture capital practice in the U.S., Bessemer has carried on a tradition of hands-on, early-stage investing since 1911. With offices in New York, California, Massachusetts, Shanghai and Mumbai, Bessemer Venture Partners ( www.bvp.com ) now manages more than a billion dollars of venture funds. Over 100 Bessemer startups have gone public, including Ciena, Gartner, Ingersoll Rand, International Paper, Maxim, Parametric, Staples, WR Grace, Verisign, and Veritas. Wikia is one of many Web2.0 companies whose first venture rounds were led by Bessemer; others include Skype, Yelp, Zopa, Revver and Flock.