Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Zvents raises $24M for local & mobile search

It has been pointed out to me that for a blog ostensibly about things other than Zvents, there's been hardly anything but Zvents news here of late.

Separately, it has been pointed out to me that for a life that is ostensibly about other things in addition to Zvents, I've been doing precious little but work of late.

To you my blog readers let me say that this is the last Zvents post for quite a while; and to you my friends and family let me say... hang in there, it can't stay this crazy for ever.

That being said:
Zvents raised $24M in funding from Nokia Growth Partners, AT&T, Navteq, and our existing venture investors Vantage Point and Red Rock. We will use this money to make our local search service for our media network even more awesome; advance our very promising new local ad model; and as a warm, fuzzy security blanket against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

Lots of people are writing about our round, including VentureBeat and Paid Content, as well as local gurus Pete Krasilovsky of Kelsey and Greg Sterling.

AT&T even issued their own press release about their strategic investment in Zvents.

How did we manage to raise all that money in tough times for both VCs and startups? Is there a pony in there somewhere? Forbes lays out a nice explanation.

And now... back to work building the future of local search.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Google Alphabet: 23% of top search terms are local

Brady Forrest has a nice post over at O'Reilly Radar about the 'Google Alphabet,' the top suggested search terms for each letter. He makes a bunch of interesting historical observations, but through my local lens I noticed something different:

23% of top search terms are local.

The list:
John Lewis (a UK retailer)
6/26=23%. You could argue that 'Kelly Blue Book' is a 7th, but you could also argue that there are some ecommerce implications to some of the retailer name searches, so we'll call it a wash.

Local search is very big business.

Update: I posted this to my blog and checked out how it looked, and lo and behold, the very first local event for today in the SF Bay Area displaying on my Zvents left sidebar widget was 'Target Free Sundays' at the Asian Art Museum. Apparently retailer Target is sponsoring Sunday museum admissions as a local marketing tool. Yet another example of local merchants using events to promote their businesses.