Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Constant Contact Buys Small-Business Web Lister SinglePlatform for $70 Million

Online marketing service Constant Contact has picked up SinglePlatform, a two-year-old start-up that helps small businesses list their services online.

Constant Contact will pay $65 million for the New York-based company, plus another $5 million for employee-retention payouts; it may also shell out up to $30 million more in earnouts over the next two years.

SinglePlatform is a 75-person company that tells restaurants and other services that it can help them manage their online presence on multiple sites. It charges local businesses $495 a year for a service that lets them automatically update menu listings, etc., on a variety of sites, including, Foursquare and the New York Times’ restaurant listings; it provides the listings to publishers for free. Earlier this year it also signed a deal to update some information to Groupon.

The deal should be a nice win for SinglePlatform’s investors, including First Round Capital and RRE, who put $4.4 million into the company. SinglePlatform CEO Wiley Cerilli, a former EVP at Seamless, will become a vice president at Constant Contact; he says all of his employees will also stay on.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald