DirectoryM Relaunches, Sans VC Money

Local ad platform/network DirectoryM has relaunched. Here’s the MediaPost piece on it:

DirectoryM pulls local business info from sources like Superpages, Ingenio and PriceGrabber, but they also accept direct feed submissions. Meanwhile, publisher partners sign up via the DirectoryM Web site, where they can customize the directories and content modules to blend in with their site’s existing color and navigation theme. Content providers who want syndication through DirectoryM also sign up on the site, and according to CEO Panos Bethanis, it’s the platform’s simplicity that has made it popular with companies like Jupiter Media.

What’s more interesting to me, however, is an article that was sent to me this morning in email about DirectoryM’s experience with VCs. From the piece (couldn’t find original source):

After raising $21 million in three rounds of funding, DirectoryM Inc. executives say they found themselves with a group of investors ready to give up on the company.

So, in March of last year, rather than calling it quits, the founders and employees bought the company back from its venture investors for $6 million – basically a total loss for venture capital firms BV Capital and Matrix Partners, according to co-founder and Chief Executive Panos Bethanis.”If you put that much in and are willing to sell, you’ve pretty much given up on everything,” Bethanis said.DirectoryM, which was founded in 2002 as an online business directory, plans to make its official re-launch on Monday with a new focus on local advertising.

This is starting to become something of a common story: business with opportunity, assets and even money in the bank is put up for sale or otherwise abandoned by VCs. There needs to be a better, alternative way of funding startups, especially in local.

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2 Responses to “DirectoryM Relaunches, Sans VC Money”

  1. Zoran Basich Says:

    That excerpt is from a story today on Dow Jones VentureWire, a subscription service.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Thanks

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