Business.com Gets $10M Funding

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Business.com said this week it received a $10 million round of funding from Benchmark Capital.


The funds are earmarked for expanding Business.com's business-to-business search engine by adding to its sales staff and improving its user experience. Business.com got a $61 million investment in September 2000 from media giants such as Pearson, McGraw Hill, Cahners and Primedia.


The Santa Monica, CA, company made a splash in 1999 when it bought the business.com domain name for $7.5 million. After suffering through the dot-com downturn during its original incarnation as a business-information portal, Business.com shifted its model to BTB paid search in late 2001.


Like paid search innovator Overture Services, Business.com began operating a pay-per-click model focused on business-related searches. Since then the site has quietly grown to create a searchable index broken into business product and services categories. Business.com boasts 5,000 advertisers, ranging from IBM to small businesses. It has a 40-cent minimum bid.


Business.com CEO Jake Winebaum said the company hoped to increase the 50 percent share of traffic it receives from its own site. The rest of its traffic arrives through distribution agreements with sites such as Forbes.com, BusinessWeek Online and Internet.com.


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