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Yodle

ABA10 WinnerCompany: Yodle, New York, NY
Company Description: Yodle is a leader in local online advertising. Yodle was founded in 2005 to help local businesses use the internet to find new customers.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Fastest-Growing Company of the Year - Up to 2,500 Employees

Nomination Title: Yodle

1. Tell the story about what this nominated company achieved since January 1 2009 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes. Begin this section with the following two lines: Year over year revenue growth (%): Year over year employee growth (%):

Many consider 2009 to be one of the most economically turbulent years in recent
memory. However for Yodle it can also be considered one of the strongest years
we’ve ever had. With nearly a 150% increase in year over year revenue from
2008, the addition of more than 100 employees around the country and the
introduction of multiple new product innovations; Yodle has grown and matured
significantly over the course of this last year – establishing itself as an
industry leader. Some specific points of pride include:
• $20 Million Raised in Venture Capital from Existing Investors: In January of
2009 and February of 2010, Yodle raised a round C and round D for the purpose of
investing further in innovation. A recession is commonly a time for companies to
scale back on spending; however, Yodle used the recession to improve our product
offerings, refine our customer service processes, and develop best-in-class
business practices. Both rounds were raised from previous investors who continue
to believe in Yodle’s success and potential – and who demonstrated the strength
of those beliefs by outlaying significant additional investments in the company.
In total, over the last five years, Yodle has completed four successful rounds
of VC funding – summing to nearly $40 million – from 3 of the most respected
private equity firms in the world including Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper
Fisher Jurveston, and JAFCO.

• 2009 Leadership Recognition:
o Yodle was named to the Silicon Alley Insider’s list of the top 50 most
valuable Internet startups.
o Yodle was named the #1 fastest growing locally based online media company by
industry Analyst Borrell Associates for the second consecutive year.
o Yodle and CEO Court Cunningham were named to the AlwaysOn OnMedia Top 100 list
o Lastly, Yodle and CEO Court Cunningham were also named to the 2009 Silicon
Alley Insider 100 list.

• Launch of 2nd Full Service product – Yodle Organic: Yodle’s second major
product, Yodle Organic, builds on Yodle’s mission of helping local businesses
get new customers from online advertising, by focusing on getting business’s
websites ranked in the all-important “organic” section of search engine results.
Yodle Organic expands the serviceable market for Yodle by several million small
businesses in that it is a perfect fit for all local businesses – including
those not suited for Yodle’s first product, Yodle Sponsored, a paid search
offering. This new product takes the complexity, mystery and high cost out of
“Search Engine Optimization” by standardizing the process and providing a
detailed reporting interface. While many of Yodle’s peers also offer organic
search marketing products, there are two key distinctions for Yodle. One is the
reporting interface which automatically quantifies and updates the client on
both the optimization tasks Yodle is executing on the clients behalf as well as
the real-world results those tasks are leading to. The other point of
differentiation is that Yodle employs a team of optimization experts to create
unique content including videos and custom articles to drive hundreds of links
back to our client’s site. Ultimately, Yodle Organic supports the company’s
goal to transform online marketing for local businesses by making it simple and
cost effective.

• Partnership with 5th largest Yellow Pages Distributor: Currently more than
eighty percent of consumers are using the Internet and search engines to find
local services, and that number is growing. To take advantage of this shift in
behavior, many traditional print companies are looking to add online advertising
to their offerings, and Yodle is quickly becoming the partner company of choice.
In March The Berry Company, the 5th largest yellow pages distributor in the
U.S., chose Yodle as their partner in bringing the power of online advertising
to Berry’s nearly 260,000 small and medium-sized business clients. Working with
Berry will quickly and dramatically increase Yodle’s customer base and give the
company an additional experience team of local business consultants selling
Yodle services. This is the kind of partnership that separates Yodle from the
pack. Rather than snubbing traditional advertising companies, Yodle is looking
for ways to work with them and to continue to educate on the opportunity of
local online advertising.

• Yodle Wrote the book on Local Online Advertising: When Yodle was founded in
2005, the majority of local business owners vaguely understood the importance of
the Internet in promoting their businesses. Over the last five years, Yodle has
worked hard to help local business owners understand the customer-acquisition
opportunities online advertising provides. The crowning achievement of these
educational efforts was the publication of Local Online Advertising for Dummies
–co-authored by Yodle CEO Court Cunningham – in March 2010, which not only
solidified Yodle’s place as a thought leader in its industry, but also gave
proof positive of Yodle’s commitment to educating small business owners. In the
end, this very commitment to education is what makes Yodle different from
competitors.

• Addition of National and Franchise Offering:
• Yodle conquered a unique problem facing the online advertising industry when
the company uncovered a way to service franchises. After doing careful research
and speaking with many national franchises that were unhappy with their local
online advertising options, Yodle developed a model for servicing these unique
organizations. Franchises are different in their local online advertising needs
in that a) they marry national brands with an advertising focus that is
ultimately local, and b) a single franchise can potentially have hundreds of
owners – a fact that poses some unique reporting and communication challenges.
Nearly a year and a half ago, Yodle tested a small group of these clients in
order to learn and eventually perfect a process that would meet their needs.
Today, the Yodle Franchise team makes up 30% of Yodle’s revenue and services
more than 150 franchises and national clients, including ServiceMaster, TWO MEN
AND A TRUCK, and Jiffy Lube.

• Philanthropic Outreach: One of Yodle’s six core values is a commitment to
greatness for every employee. As part of that commitment to greatness, Yodle and
CEO Court Cunningham also believe in good corporate citizenship, which means
giving back when you can and especially when you should – like in a down
economy. This past holiday season, Yodle launched its first annual Holiday
Giving campaign through Yodle.org. True to its focus on customers, Yodle
identified five organizations doing philanthropic work in the community. Three
of them represented the company’s largest client segments: dentists, lawyers,
and contractors. Instead of spending money on paper holiday cards to over
15,000 Yodle users, Yodle redirected those funds to benefit the five selected
organizations. Yodle.org will continue to be a part of Yodle’s culture to
highlight philanthropic efforts of employees, help instill corporate citizenship
for Yodle as a company, and provide local business owners with the tools they
need to give back.

2. List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:

List of Yodle Corporate Sites:
The Yodle Marketing Blog
http://www.blog.yodle.com/
The Yodle Law Marketing Blog
http://www.yodlelawmarketing.com/blog/
The Yodle Dental Marketing Blog
http://www.yodledentalmarketing.com/blog/
Yodle’s commitment to philanthropy
http://www.yodle.org/
The Yodle Dummies Book website
http://www.yodledummiesbook.com/

List of Press Releases:
http://www.yodle.com/press/detail/yodle_continues_innovation_with_launch_of_yodle_organic/
http://www.yodle.com/press/detail/yodle_berry_company_strategic_partnership/
http://www.yodle.com/press/detail/local_online_advertising_leader_yodle_announces_completion_of_10_milli/
http://www.yodle.com/press/detail/yodle_writes_the_book_on_local_online_advertising1/

List of Media Coverage:
CEO on ABC
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=7544091
WSJ
http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2010/02/04/three-start-ups-ask-what-online-ad-slump/tab/comments/
Venture Beat
http://social.venturebeat.com/2010/02/09/yodle/
NY Post
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/jobs/incoming_ElJylF7EPJ2ampJTmxR1CK/0
New York Times
http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/02/yodle-has-investors-singing-its-tune/
CNET
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10140408-93.html
AdWeek
http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/news/digital/e3icf13d4806aba58de6a8f1d792abc3b57
TechCrunch
http://techcrunch.com/2010/02/01/local-advertising-booster-yodle-raises-another-10-million/

3. Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader of this nominated company:

Court Cunningham, CEO of Yodle, joined the company in 2007 when it was two years
old, as the 13th employee and a major shareholder. He left the comfort of well
established organizations like Bain & Company and DoubleClick to invest his own
money in a fledgling startup in Yodle. At the time, Court was paid
approximately 50% of the standard salary for his position and was challenged by
the Board to bring the company to $1 million in revenue for three consecutive
months in order to be paid market rate. Yodle’s monthly revenue at the time was
$167k. Court met that challenge in just over a year, and went on to achieve a
total of 2,295% growth from April 2007 to March 2010.
Yodle’s historic growth earned the company many honors and awards in 2009.
Borrell & Associates gave Yodle the title of fastest growing locally based
online media company, and Court was listed on both the Silicon Alley Insider top
100 and AlwaysOn OnMedia top 100 list of private company CEOs. These honors are
recognition of Court’s depth of experience in online advertising and his
potential as a leader and visionary for this growing industry.
Court received a BA in English from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard
Business School. Court is also the co-author of Local Online Advertising for
Dummies, the first ever comprehensive book covering online advertising for local
businesses.