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NY’s Yodle aims big with IPO and new HQ

Things are on the up for online ad firm Yodle: it’s just filed for a $75 mil­lion IPO and signed the lease for a swanky new office. Phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess Art direc­tors and account man­agers who work for online adver­tis­ing agen­cies in the Big Apple may already have heard of Yodle. Found­ed in New York 2005, it spe­cial­izes in help­ing local busi­ness­es achieve the most effec­tive online adver­tis­ing cam­paigns, with a plat­form encom­pass­ing email mar­ket­ing, inter­net mar­ket­ing social media mar­ket­ing, reviews and rec­om­men­da­tions, mar­ket­ing automa­tion, SEO and local search. In a nut­shell, Yodle is a lead-gen­er­at­ing machine that helps local busi­ness­es adver­tise their prod­ucts and ser­vices by deliv­er­ing opti­mal search results on all the major search engines. Yodle ads will point straight to its customer’s web­sites and lets them track the effec­tive­ness of their online mar­ket­ing from a sin­gle, per­son­al­ized per­for­mance dash­board. Busi­­ness-savvy account man­agers may also appre­ci­ate that it’s been phe­nom­e­nal­ly suc­cess­ful. In 2005, it had a mere 9 employ­ees. Between 2007 and 2010, its annu­al rev­enue soared by a stag­ger­ing 700 per­cent, its staff head­count bal­looned to 250 and its client ros­ter sky­rock­et­ed from 600 to 5000. Today, that’s explod­ed to 45,000 local busi­ness­es, the staff head­count now tops…

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Introducing LocalMaven, the startup that tracks and incentivizes recommendations

New York start­up Local­Maven is mak­ing it easy for local busi­ness­es to gen­er­ate word-of-mouth refer­rals with a sim­ple incen­tive: cash. Upon read­ing this blunt sum­ma­ry, the more inquir­ing prod­uct man­ag­er will want to know how this idea actu­al­ly works. Let’s begin at the begin­ning. Frus­tra­tion, the moth­er of inven­tion The com­pa­ny, which offi­cial­ly launched just yes­ter­day (8th July), is the brain­child of erst­while events busi­ness exec­u­tive Arnon Rosan, and he hatched the idea out of his grow­ing frus­tra­tion that no reli­able means exist­ed to track or reward pos­i­tive refer­rals. The only way he’d find out whether a rec­om­men­da­tion he’d giv­en for, say, a good tent com­pa­ny actu­al­ly went any­where was if he asked about it lat­er. And, even though his refer­ral could have gen­er­at­ed a good­ly slice of busi­ness rev­enue for the ser­vice provider, his only reward (if he was lucky) might be to be tak­en out for din­ner. The result of these irk­some vex­a­tions was a unique plat­form capa­ble of lit­er­al­ly orga­niz­ing an infor­mal refer­ral econ­o­my, oper­at­ing across all mar­ket seg­ments and indus­tries (not just Rosan’s spe­cial­ty, events busi­ness­es) and acces­si­ble any­where in the world with an inter­net con­nec­tion. An online refer­rals mar­ket­place Now we can come back to…

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New York’s CrowdTwist enhances advertising with tailored loyalty programs

New York loy­al­ty and rewards plat­form CrowdTwist is tak­ing loy­al­­ty-cre­a­tion to new heights after a $9 mil­lion Series B invest­ment round. Omni-chan­nel loy­al­ty While Adland’s account man­agers focus their efforts on opti­miz­ing rela­tions with key agency clients, no one with media jobs in online adver­tis­ing agen­cies is unaware of the impor­tance of cul­ti­vat­ing cus­tomer loy­al­ty. And CrowdTwist, which was found­ed by NY com­padres Irv­ing Fain, Josh Bowen and Michael Mon­tero in 2009, has fast become a lead­ing sup­pli­er of mul­ti-chan­nel loy­al­ty and ana­lyt­ics solu­tions for brands, mar­keters and adver­tis­ers. Essen­tial­ly, intrigued account man­agers may wish to know, CrowdTwist pro­vides tools to help its clients cre­ate online loy­al­ty pro­grams. Co-founder and CEO Irv­ing Fain says that the new cash will help it expand beyond the “intense fer­vor around gam­i­fi­ca­tion” with which it’s been asso­ci­at­ed, and deliv­er “long-term, sus­tain­able val­ue to brands.” Accord­ing to Mr. Fain, CrowdTwist’s unique appeal resides in what it actu­al­ly does with loy­al­ty pro­grams, how it puts them to work: they become sources of valu­able con­sumer data on an “omni-chan­nel” basis (i.e., across offline, online, social and mobile chan­nels). Not only that, but all the data that gets sucked up is opt-in and owned by the brand instead…

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GeoMarketing startup Yext heads for IPO and international expansion

Yext, the New York-based ‘Geo­Mar­ket­ing’ com­pa­ny, appears to be head­ing for an IPO after rais­ing a wal­lop­ing $50 mil­lion in Series F. Prod­uct man­agers who think the word “Geo­Mar­ket­ing” sounds cool but feel baf­fled about what it means should read on. Essen­tial­ly, Yext’s Soft­­ware-as-a-Ser­vice capa­bil­i­ties allow busi­ness­es or stores to con­trol their list­ings in local search­es. Syn­chro­niz­ing across local search­es Take the case of a drug­store chain: it might have 60 dif­fer­ent stores in a city, each one with slight­ly dif­fer­ent con­tact infor­ma­tion, open­ing hours, etc. As things stand, they’ll each be list­ed slight­ly dif­fer­ent­ly in Google search, Foursquare, Yelp and oth­er loca­tion data­bas­es. Yext’s plat­form lets busi­ness­es con­trol the con­tent of all those assort­ed list­ings from a sin­gle dash­board. The start­up launched as a pay-per-call adver­tis­ing com­pa­ny in 2009, but mor­phed over the ensu­ing cou­ple of years to focus instead on devel­op­ing its unique Geo­Mar­ket­ing soft­ware (the ad busi­ness was sold to IAC’s Grid Media). And even the most hard-head­­ed prod­uct man­ag­er will con­cede that the shift of empha­sis has proven a big suc­cess. Yext now han­dles data for over 300,000 active loca­tions and it saw a hand­some $34 mil­lion in rev­enue in 2013, a spec­tac­u­lar 116 per­cent high­er…

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Social media marketing startup Offerpop looks beyond New York to expand after 15 million Series C round

As just about all social media man­agers know, social media has become an indis­pens­able chan­nel for mar­ket­ing. And New York’s Soft­­ware-as-a-Ser­vice start­up Offer­pop aims to con­sol­i­date its increas­ing­ly van­guard sta­tus in this field. This fol­lows a suc­cess­ful Series C round this month which added an addi­tion­al $15 mil­lion to its cof­fers. Smart track­ing The com­pa­ny was found­ed in 2009 by Allen Bonde, Mark Coop­er, Wen­dell Lands­ford and Prakash Mishra and has become a leader in social media mar­ket­ing in an impres­sive­ly short space of time. Its ros­ter now includes over 2,000 enter­prise and mid-mar­ket clients, amongst them big names like Com­e­dy Cen­tral, Lil­ly Pulitzer and L’Oreal. Social media man­agers hear­ing about it for the first time here will prob­a­bly want to know a lit­tle more about what this up-and-com­ing start­up offers, so here’s a lit­tle low­down. If a cus­tomer tweets about, say, a L’Oreal prod­uct, Offerpop’s plat­form not only lets L’Oreal know, it can also do much more intri­cate stuff as well. Like, for exam­ple, send­ing auto­mat­ed respons­es to the rel­e­vant tweet­ers, obtain­ing per­mis­sion to include user-gen­er­at­ed images in forth­com­ing mar­ket­ing mate­ri­als and mon­i­tor­ing the suc­cess or fail­ure of spe­cif­ic cam­paigns by iden­ti­fy­ing whether those tweet­ers actu­al­ly end­ed up buy­ing…

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