Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Yext Cleans Up Mess of Business Listings Info

Time was that when you wanted to locate a certain kind of business, you could reliably turn to the Yellow Pages and find a handful of establishments that met the need of the moment.

Now in the age of everything-on-the-Web, that information is usually obscured by multiple listings, and then once you find the right listing it’s often inaccurate or outdated. Local businesses open and close and expand so quickly that it’s difficult to keep track, and any two sites listing information on a given business can contradict each other.

A start-up called Yext is out to fix that with a service it calls PowerListings Turbo. The basic idea is this. Say you’re a sandwich shop in the West Village that wants to get listed on Yelp and HopStop and Yahoo and Superpages and a handful of other sites where hungry customers might be looking for you. You send your info to Yext, including photos and maybe an opening special, and Yext gets your listing on all those sites.

Now fast forward a few months. Say a better location opens up a block away and you jump at the chance to move because it’s closer to the subway stop. You move. All that listing info is out of date. Don’t worry. Send Yext the updated info including the new address and within minutes all the listings on all those other sites get updated, too.

CEO Howard Lerman demonstrated it for me last week and said that one in every five searches for business information returns inaccurate data. And the problem gets only further compounded when you’re a big company with hundreds or thousands of locations. Update a location once with Yext and it’s taken care of within minutes across whatever other sites it may be listed on.

Yext works with 36 different sites that host business information and so far is the platform behind 35,000 different listings. The New York-based company has been around since 2006 and has investments from Sutter Hill Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners and WGI Investments, and has raised about $39 million in four rounds.

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