The Return of Grayboxx

There have been several sites in the local space, including Judy’s Book and Backfence, that have been shuttered and relaunched after their assets were acquired by somebody else. Grayboxx is now in that category too (perhaps I should say again in that category). After a couple of transactions that didn’t quite happen, Grayboxx has apparently found an owner:

Grayboxx a leading local search and yellow pages website, is happy to announce a change in ownership. The company was initially purchased in November 2008 and is now owned by Lokesh Pvt. Ltd. in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

To go along with the ownership change, the company has furnished Lokesh Pvt. Ltd. with all the internal technology that drives grayboxx’s unique local search solution. Lokesh intends to study the PreferenceScoring technology for three months in detail before re-launching it on the grayboxx.com website.

“Our goal when we purchased this business was to improve the customer experience by providing a cleaner layout and more features in line with expectations that web users have,” said Sandeep Chaudhary, Operational Manager of grayboxx.com. “Grayboxx is known for its unique search capabilities, but we intend to broaden its social features similar to Yelp.”

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If you do a search on the site now, it’s all Google content/results. But apparently that will change (as the statement above suggests) in the near future. Grayboxx’s PreferenceScoring was a clever concept and approach to rating local businesses; it just wasn’t well explained to users. Grayboxx founder and former CEO Bob Chandra told me that will be remedied in the forthcoming version of the site. Chandra has a casual relationship with the current owners but no formal role.

One Response to “The Return of Grayboxx”

  1. B. Chandra Says:

    >Grayboxx’s PreferenceScoring was a clever concept and approach to rating local businesses; it just wasn’t well explained to users.

    I’ll be the first to admit that. It was like harnessing and capturing a powerful force- like catching lightning in a bottle. We had something in PreferenceScoring that eluded most local search sites (a way to provide user feedback on millions of businesses in small towns and including unreviewed categories like patio furniture). But we couldn’t explain it. Part of the reason is that the Catch-22 of explaining it- which alarmed some about how we aggregated and analyzed user data such as email address books to generate PreferenceScores. It was harmless since we had no knowledge of invididual preferences, but explanation invited further questions. In retrospect, we should have said exactly how the data was collected and how PreferenceScore was assessed from the beginning.

    Well we’ll see if this company can resurrect the solution in a way that makes sense to end users.

    -Bob

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