With Felix Buy, CityGrid Focuses on Closed-Loop Transactions

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CityGrid, the IAC-operated business that oversees Citysearch, Insider Pages, and Urbanspoon, is adding Felix to its stable of locally focused products. On Monday, CityGrid announced it was buying the pay-per-action phone advertising company, which will continue to operate as an independent business. TechCrunch pegs the price at around $30 million.

Felix is profitable, but no longer a major focus of Yext — which recently raised $27 million to focus its efforts on the massive growth of its PowerListings product. Yext spun out Felix into a standalone company earlier this year, and CityGrid was a obvious potential buyer because of the synergies and familiarity between the two companies. (“Felix has provided distribution to its merchant customers on CityGrid’s local advertising network since 2009,” according to a release.)

In an email to Street Fight, CityGrid CEO Jason Finger explained where he sees Felix fitting into the company’s offerings: “We are focused on providing our merchant partners with closed-loop transactions and, as it relates to phone calls, Felix is the best phone advertising solution driving high qualified customer leads with robust call analytics on the market.

“As a standalone brand under CityGrid, Felix will be able to expand its advertiser base and develop new products that help local businesses find new customers across the web and mobile devices. Now that Felix is part of IAC, it also has the ability to more effectively syndicate its current customers across the CityGrid network,” he continued.

The executive offered the example of an automotive company that already works with CityGrid as a company whose experience would be improved by the addition of Felix.

“With Felix, we can now offer a leading pay-per-action phone advertising solution that allows our merchant partners to analyze their calls by keyword,” Finger said. “For an automotive company, that means it is only charged for calls that are tied to revenue (example — the business wouldn’t be charged for a call regarding a job inquiry but would be charged for a potential customer scheduling an appointment for a transmission overhaul).”

Noah Davis is a senior editor at Street Fight.