TouchLocal Buys Scoot in UK

Picture 160UK based local search and directory site TouchLocal has acquired Enable Media Limited, which owns and operates Scoot and AskAlix in the UK. TouchLocal outlined the benefits of the acquisition in an email to me this morning:

  1. A combined paying customer base in excess of 25,000 local business advertisers on annual subscriptions and growing at 8% per month.
  2. More than 2 million UK businesses listed, 500,000 of whom have activated their profiles.
  3. Over 3.5m uniques and 6m searches per month. Generating over 8m calls to SME’s per year.
  4. A field and telesales team in excess of 130 people and a really established platform for further aggressive growth.
  5. A forward combined revenue run rate in excess of $32m and EBITDA in excess of $7.5m.
  6. A significant move forward in annual renewals rates that can exceed 80%.
  7. Strengthening of distribution strategy that will enable more exclusive partners to be added this year in addition to our local search partnership with AOL.

Scoot has been innovative and was one of the first directory sites to try and use Twitter as a marketing and distribution vehicle for its advertisers. It was an early UK Internet directory powerhouse with a huge valuation that plummeted in the earlier part of this decade. It has changed ownership a couple of times.

The UK local segment is highly competitive and getting more so:

  • Yell
  • TouchLocal/Scoot
  • TrustedPlaces
  • Yelp
  • Google, Yahoo, Bing
  • Qype
  • Others

3 Responses to “TouchLocal Buys Scoot in UK”

  1. Simon Watts Says:

    Congrats to Touch. A few observations/questions –

    i) 25,000 business advertisers – that’s pretty big. Even at £20 per month….

    ii) 2 million businesses listed (anyone can license that data), 500,000 activated profiles = very impressive

    iii) 3.5m unique visitors, 6m searches, 8m calls – these numbers don’t seem right. Unless you’re talking combined Touch and Scoot Traffic? Scoot get zero traffic. I mean bugger all. Just look at Alexa, Google Trends, Hitwise et al.

    iv) Field and Telesales team of +130 people. That can’t be cheap…. is field/telesales really required to scales these businesses?

    v) EBITDA $7.5m believable. Maybe. How much of that comes from Scoot?

    vi) Renewal rates “that can” exceed 80%. That means they’re probably at about 30% right now?

  2. AhmedF Says:

    Scoot is ~2500 ranked website in UK. Comparing to my own sites and ranking, that means roughly 10-20k unique visitors a day.

  3. an insider Says:

    a highly negative review there. Scoot is a highly reputable directory with current renewal rate of more than 80%. A cost effective advertising platform for the sme’s that use the directory.
    Perhaps that the brand needs to be marketed more, i agree. However ownership by itv has not made this possible.
    This is an exciting time for scoot, touch local and all the businesses that do advertise on the directory. It’s time yell moved over their monopoly of the directories game and quite frankly is out dated and to be fair, uncost effective, expensive and doesn’t give half the features of either a scoot or touch local listing. All i can say is… this space.

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