WebCertain Group has acquired a majority stake in the business of Yellowtom UK Ltd, the local small business marketing platform which operates in the UK, Ireland, Spain and the US. Yellowtom is a franchise operation based around a local search engine which uses coupons and vouchers to promote small local businesses.
Yellowtom was created and developed by Nigel Rush and first launched in 2003 focused on the Yorkshire region of the UK. WebCertain first took on the SEO of the project in 2003 and re-built the site in 2004 as well as several evolutions since. Yellowtom became a franchisor in 2006 and rapidly expanded beyond its Yorkshire base winning franchises throughout the UK. The site has recently expanded to offer 350 UK towns to users as well as opening in Spain, Ireland and the US.
Yellowtom UK Ltd has been renamed WebCertain Local Ltd — adopting the group’s branding. WebCertain Local Ltd is a majority-owned subsidiary of WebCertain Group Ltd with the founder, Nigel Rush, retaining a stake as well as taking the role of Chairman. Mark Hare also retains a stake and is appointed Director with responsibility for international franchise sales. Andy Atkins-Krüger, who is the CEO of WebCertain Group Ltd is appointed Managing Director of WebCertain Local Ltd with WebCertain Group Financial Director, Philip Hopkinson becoming the company’s Financial Director.
Explains WebCertain Local Ltd Chairman Nigel Rush, “We recognised there was a significant opportunity for Yellowtom in the rapidly emerging local advertising market because of our ability to provide a highly personal service to local businesses wishing to capitalise on the development of search engines, social networks and email — but not having the time or money to ‘do’ everything. Yellowtom was already heading in this direction but needed further investment to enable us to grow rapidly. We also see huge opportunities to roll out our approach to many international markets. Joining with the team at WebCertain was an obvious solution meaning we could move much faster.”
Adds WebCertain Local Ltd Managing Director, Andy Atkins-Krueger, “WebCertain is well recognised for its international search marketing services working in 36 languages. We had identified a gap in the market for businesses wanting to very rapidly target local markets internationally and Yellowtom was the obvious vehicle enabling us to very quickly provide an effective solution. We aim to put businesses on the map in Manchester, Munich and Moscow, without having to target whole countries.”
The precise details of the deal have not been made public but WebCertain has committed to investing £500,000 in the development of the platform in the first 18 months. A new version of the site has been developed and is also launched today in the UK and Ireland.
The transaction advisors were Shulmans LLP and Brown Butler both in Leeds.
For further press information please contact Gemma Birch – tel: 01904 780030
About WebCertain Group
WebCertain Group has its headquarters in the UK with offices in the US, Norway, Poland, India and China. WebCertain Direct Ltd is its search marketing agency, KeywordFluency.com provides multilingual search marketing to other agencies confidentially and WebCertain Translates provides SEO-friendly translation or SEO-Localization. WebCertain also manages the International Search Summit range of conferences which are run in partnership with Search Marketing Expo at all its events.