In Lead-Up to Expansion, SinglePlatform Adds Yelp to Publisher Network
Nine months after selling to Constant Contact, SinglePlatform has scored its biggest partnership yet. The company has added Yelp, and its 100 million unique users, to its network of local publishers across which the company distributes business and product information — namely, menus — from its base of local merchants. The partnership is a coup for Constant Contact, which snapped up the startup for $100 million last summer, as it looks to begin the process of introducing the product to its existing customer base over the next few months.
Yelp rolled out an early version of the partnership last October, but the company only used a small portion of SinglePlatform’s data. Today, Yelp is adding a host of new categories as well functionality to make sure that menu updates will update within 24 hours.
The partnership with Yelp will allow SinglePlatform customers to publish menu, product, and other business information to their pages on the review site, and caps off a busy few months for SinglePlatform. Since its acquisition, the company has added over 100 local publishers to the three publisher roster — Foursquare, YP, and New York Times — it had in place a year ago, and has more than tripled its workforce during the same period. The Yelp partnership marks a turning point as it looks to move from scaling the team to scaling the product.
“We’ve kept [SinglePlatform and Constant Contact] separate purposively, but I think you’re going to start seeing that change over the course of the year,” Wiley Cerilli, the founder of Single Platform and now-VP at Constant Contact, told Street Fight about the division’s plans to start selling against the Constant Contact’s 500,000 existing small business clients. “We didn’t feel like we were quite ready yet with our publisher network, and our business wasn’t quite ready to scale… but you’re going to start to see a lot more combined marketing efforts from the two companies.”
Cerilli declined to comment on how the SinglePlatform planned to monetize its product over the long-term — whether the plan is to fold it into an existing subscription or to sell it as a separate product. But given the direction of the industry, one would expect Constant Contact to start bundling its various services into a unified product at some point.
On the advertiser side, Cerilli says the company has expanded into other verticals, but that its biggest area of growth has come via national and regional brands. The company’s closest competitor, Yext, has also ratcheted up enterprise sales since raising a whopping $27 million in funding last year, which was announced just three days before SinglePlatform’s acquisition.
Cerilli says the two companies hardly see each other in the market. But given the resources of the two firms, it’s hard to imagine that will continue. Both companies have made a push into each other’s original niches — Yext from listing information to rich content, and SinglePlatform from rich content to more basic business information. The reality of the business is that the hard part is convincing the publishers to complete the integrations into their site, but once that line is established, expanding to other forms of information is hard work but an easier sell.
Steven Jacobs is Street Fight’s deputy editor.