MerchantCircle Announces $10MM in Funding From Previous and New Investors

Momentum Growing for Largest, Fastest-growing Network of Local Business

Owners

Company to Pursue New Market Opportunities that Benefit Local Merchants



Nov 07, 2007, 00:00 ET from MerchantCircle

    LOS ALTOS, Calif., Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- MerchantCircle, the largest
 and fastest growing online network of local business owners in the nation,
 today announced it has received $10MM in Series B funding and other
 financing. Previous investors Rustic Canyon Partners, Scale Venture
 Partners, Steamboat Ventures (the venture capital arm of The Walt Disney
 Company), and new financing partners IAC (Nasdaq:   IACI) and Square 1 Bank,
 among others participated in the deal.
     The investment validates the company's "merchant-first" business model
 and allows MerchantCircle to pursue new acquisition opportunities. The deal
 dramatically accelerates MerchantCircle's strategy to become the most
 effective channel for connecting local businesses with local consumers.
     "As more consumers rely on the internet to help them decide where to
 shop, local businesses need to develop an online strategy to thrive," says
 Mark Menell, Partner at Rustic Canyon Partners. "MerchantCircle's ability
 to engage local merchants and deliver simple, valuable online services has
 the potential to completely change the way local businesses reach customers
 in this day and age."
     "Our vision is to deliver effective online marketing services to every
 local business in North America," said Ben T. Smith IV, MerchantCircle
 Co-founder and Chairman. "We are pleased that our investment partners
 support our strategy to bring more value to local merchants by delivering
 well-qualified local consumers."
     MerchantCircle has attracted more than 250,000 local merchants in only
 seventeen months -- not just in the largest metropolitan cities, but in
 vibrant "Anytown, U.S.A." communities like Kenai, AK, Lemoyne, PA, and
 Bend, OR. Local business owners use MerchantCircle to create web sites,
 manage their online reputations, write blogs, send newsletters, publish
 coupons, and connect with other business owners in their communities.
 Entry-level packages are free of charge with enhanced advertising
 memberships starting at $29 per month.
     About MerchantCircle
     Founded in 2005, MerchantCircle is the largest online network of local
 business owners in the nation, combining social networking aspects with a
 customizable web listing that allows merchants to attract new customers.
 More than 14 million MerchantCircle business listings across the country
 are easily accessed on major search engines. Currently, over 250,000
 merchants on the MerchantCircle network upload pictures, blog, build
 coupons, ads, and newsletters, while connecting with other business owners.
 MerchantCircle also gives business owners the power to manage their online
 reputation by aggregating reviews and increasing visibility across the web.
     MerchantCircle is located in downtown Los Altos, Calif., and is backed
 by Rustic Canyon Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Steamboat Ventures (the
 venture capital arm of The Walt Disney Company), Square 1 Bank and IAC
 (Nasdaq:   IACI). Learn more at http://www.merchantcircle.com.
     Contact:
     Kevin Leu
     MerchantCircle
     Kevin@MerchantCircle.com
     858-361-4407
 
 

SOURCE MerchantCircle
    LOS ALTOS, Calif., Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- MerchantCircle, the largest
 and fastest growing online network of local business owners in the nation,
 today announced it has received $10MM in Series B funding and other
 financing. Previous investors Rustic Canyon Partners, Scale Venture
 Partners, Steamboat Ventures (the venture capital arm of The Walt Disney
 Company), and new financing partners IAC (Nasdaq:   IACI) and Square 1 Bank,
 among others participated in the deal.
     The investment validates the company's "merchant-first" business model
 and allows MerchantCircle to pursue new acquisition opportunities. The deal
 dramatically accelerates MerchantCircle's strategy to become the most
 effective channel for connecting local businesses with local consumers.
     "As more consumers rely on the internet to help them decide where to
 shop, local businesses need to develop an online strategy to thrive," says
 Mark Menell, Partner at Rustic Canyon Partners. "MerchantCircle's ability
 to engage local merchants and deliver simple, valuable online services has
 the potential to completely change the way local businesses reach customers
 in this day and age."
     "Our vision is to deliver effective online marketing services to every
 local business in North America," said Ben T. Smith IV, MerchantCircle
 Co-founder and Chairman. "We are pleased that our investment partners
 support our strategy to bring more value to local merchants by delivering
 well-qualified local consumers."
     MerchantCircle has attracted more than 250,000 local merchants in only
 seventeen months -- not just in the largest metropolitan cities, but in
 vibrant "Anytown, U.S.A." communities like Kenai, AK, Lemoyne, PA, and
 Bend, OR. Local business owners use MerchantCircle to create web sites,
 manage their online reputations, write blogs, send newsletters, publish
 coupons, and connect with other business owners in their communities.
 Entry-level packages are free of charge with enhanced advertising
 memberships starting at $29 per month.
     About MerchantCircle
     Founded in 2005, MerchantCircle is the largest online network of local
 business owners in the nation, combining social networking aspects with a
 customizable web listing that allows merchants to attract new customers.
 More than 14 million MerchantCircle business listings across the country
 are easily accessed on major search engines. Currently, over 250,000
 merchants on the MerchantCircle network upload pictures, blog, build
 coupons, ads, and newsletters, while connecting with other business owners.
 MerchantCircle also gives business owners the power to manage their online
 reputation by aggregating reviews and increasing visibility across the web.
     MerchantCircle is located in downtown Los Altos, Calif., and is backed
 by Rustic Canyon Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Steamboat Ventures (the
 venture capital arm of The Walt Disney Company), Square 1 Bank and IAC
 (Nasdaq:   IACI). Learn more at http://www.merchantcircle.com.
     Contact:
     Kevin Leu
     MerchantCircle
     Kevin@MerchantCircle.com
     858-361-4407
 
 SOURCE MerchantCircle