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MerchantCircle Announces $10MM in Funding From Previous and New Investors

Tuesday, November 6, 2007 - 21:55

LOS ALTOS, Calif., Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- MerchantCircle, the largest and fastest growing online network of local business owners in the nation, today announced it has received $10MM in Series B funding and other financing. Previous investors Rustic Canyon Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Steamboat Ventures (the venture capital arm of The Walt Disney Company), and new financing partners IAC (NASDAQ: IACI) and Square 1 Bank, among others participated in the deal.

The investment validates the company's "merchant-first" business model and allows MerchantCircle to pursue new acquisition opportunities. The deal dramatically accelerates MerchantCircle's strategy to become the most effective channel for connecting local businesses with local consumers.

"As more consumers rely on the internet to help them decide where to shop, local businesses need to develop an online strategy to thrive," says Mark Menell, Partner at Rustic Canyon Partners. "MerchantCircle's ability to engage local merchants and deliver simple, valuable online services has the potential to completely change the way local businesses reach customers in this day and age."

"Our vision is to deliver effective online marketing services to every local business in North America," said Ben T. Smith IV, MerchantCircle Co-founder and Chairman. "We are pleased that our investment partners support our strategy to bring more value to local merchants by delivering well-qualified local consumers."

MerchantCircle has attracted more than 250,000 local merchants in only seventeen months -- not just in the largest metropolitan cities, but in vibrant "Anytown, U.S.A." communities like Kenai, AK, Lemoyne, PA, and Bend, OR. Local business owners use MerchantCircle to create web sites, manage their online reputations, write blogs, send newsletters, publish coupons, and connect with other business owners in their communities. Entry-level packages are free of charge with enhanced advertising memberships starting at $29 per month.

About MerchantCircle

Founded in 2005, MerchantCircle is the largest online network of local business owners in the nation, combining social networking aspects with a customizable web listing that allows merchants to attract new customers. More than 14 million MerchantCircle business listings across the country are easily accessed on major search engines. Currently, over 250,000 merchants on the MerchantCircle network upload pictures, blog, build coupons, ads, and newsletters, while connecting with other business owners. MerchantCircle also gives business owners the power to manage their online reputation by aggregating reviews and increasing visibility across the web.

MerchantCircle is located in downtown Los Altos, Calif., and is backed by Rustic Canyon Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Steamboat Ventures (the venture capital arm of The Walt Disney Company), Square 1 Bank and IAC (NASDAQ: IACI). Learn more at http://www.merchantcircle.com/.

  Contact:
  Kevin Leu
  MerchantCircle
  Kevin@MerchantCircle.com
  858-361-4407

SOURCE: MerchantCircle

CONTACT: Kevin Leu of MerchantCircle, +1-858-361-4407,
Kevin@MerchantCircle.com

Web site: http://www.merchantcircle.com/

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