Constant Contact, the online marketing company that serves over 500,000 small businesses and non-profits, announced another in what has become a series of acquisitions — this time of SinglePlatform.
SinglePlatform helps businesses update company information — think menus, pricing and maps — on websites and mobile applications. A small business can update its information once, and that information is then delivered to a publishing network of over 200 million people a month. That information goes to sites like New York Times, YP.com, Foursquare and UrbanSpoon, as well as to social media platforms such as Facebook (see below at red arrow):
SinglePlatform has been named one of the most promising startups in America by BusinessWeek, and was listed as one of the top 25 New York startups to watch by Business Insider and The Next Web. Its platform includes more than 600,000 businesses and thousands of publishing sites and mobile apps across 13,000 cities and towns.
One Source, Multiple Benefits
As any overworked business owner will tell you, figuring out what directories, search engines or other online platforms you need to update company information on can be daunting, and a full time job. “There are hundreds of online and mobile sites that consumers use to find local businesses and make purchase decisions. It’s literally impossible for time-starved small businesses to keep up with all of them,” said Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact. Constant Contact aims to continue to deliver that ease of use that SinglePlatform started in 2010.
Prior to the acquisition by Constant Contact, SinglePlatform offered only one service — a paid one — called Digital Storefront, where small businesses can add rich content to their listings, such as menus, products and services, photos, and pricing. The annual price for Digital Storefront is $495, and the company had approximately 10,000 paying customers.
Constant Contact will expand the offering to include a free basic listing for small businesses. The company says it doesn’t believe businesses should have to pay to get accurate contact information up online.
While SinglePlatform began with a focus on restaurants, its customer base includes a range of other types of businesses, such as spas, salons, and retailers. A spa, for example, could post its pricing and photos of services on its profile. A museum could list fundraising events. A florist could display photos of seasonal arrangements. You get the picture.
The acquisition of SinglePlatform closed yesterday at a price of approximately $65 million. Constant Contact will retain all of SinglePlatform’s 60+ employees in the transaction. The SinglePlatform service continues to be available on its website, but I suspect Constant Contact will find additional ways to roll it in to the services it offers its existing customer base.