Santa Barbara-based Local Market Launch, a firm that helps small businesses create and maintain an online presence, has raised $1.5 million in venture capital, bringing its total raised to date to $2.7 million.
The company was founded last year by Brian Coryat, the founder of digital advertising firm ValueClick. The funding came from Santa Barbara-based Rincon Venture Partners.
Coryat came up with idea for Local Market Launch when he was starting a hotel venture in the Midwest. He found that print-based listings were increasingly ineffective, but there was a huge class of small, locally oriented business – from hotels to plumbers to franchised restaurants – that had largely been left behind in the web revolution.
Local Market Launch creates and maintains online business listings for clients, keeping entries in services such as Google Places up to date and aggregating data such as online reviews in one dashboard. It lets business stay current without having to check dozens of separate services. The idea is to make it easier for businesses to manage their listings and be visible to the nearby public.
“We call it the last mile of search,” Coryat told the Business Times. “The customer is a mile away from you and wants to do business with you. The question is, can they find you?”