You may have seen the TechCrunch and BusinessInsider articles on SinglePlatform raising an additional $3.25 million from us, DFJ Gotham and new investor New World Ventures . You may have read the description of what they do--"Help Local Businesses Create Online Storefronts" or "manage their web presence"--and think that's not particularly interesting.
That's because Wiley Cerilli and his team are being ducks.
Michael Caine once said, "Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.”
Even their new website doesn't really telegraph the whole story, but it's there.
What is SinglePlatform?
That's it--and that's incredibly valuable. Ever walk by a restaurant and think, "There's never anyone in here... how are they going to survive?" My favorite local cafe in Bay Ridge just went out of business because no one ever came in. What they didn't understand was how people searched for local businesses and how to get in front of those potential customers. In a world where consumers are overwhelmed with a firehose of opportunities, getting your business in front of them is one of the most valuable things you can do. The team at SinglePlatform is using their extensive local knowledge to pinpoint where to create value in the local space for all of the stakeholders and executing a thoughtful plan with extraordinary efficiency.
I'll cop to being the VC that said, "If you want to monetize local, you will need to go through SinglePlatform one day, because they'll own the best, trusted relationship with the merchant."
So you're not going to see big announcements of the numbers of users, exciting new app launches, or a lot of press buzz. To get excited about their plan, you really need to sit down with Wiley and have him explain to you the plight of the average local business, the complex ecosystem of local publishers, their data and consumer research habits. And then he'll show you the confidential numbers they're watching--of customers driven to their businesses, of publishers signing up to work with them, and exciting sales channel opportunities. You'll want to work for this business when you're done and that's why I'm excited to be working Howard Morgan and the rest of the First Round team on this investment in SinglePlatform.