Friday, January 15, 2010

Columbus company spotlight - Manta's small-business information website powers rapid growth

source: HiVelocity

Ninety-five percent of American businesses have nine or fewer employees. But until recently it was almost impossible to find a single source of information about them.

Today, that's changing, thanks in large part to Manta, which bills itself as the "largest free source of information on small companies."

The Columbus-based website, which launched in September 2005 as the offspring of ECNext, has sometimes been described as "the fastest-growing business site you've never heard of." But these days, plenty of people are hearing about Manta.

Launched with a data base encompassing 24 million companies, the online resource now covers 64 million -- 20 million of which are U.S. companies -- and was cited in September as the fifth-largest business/finance/news site according to ComScore, recognized within the industry as the Nielsens of the digital world.

Manta's Internet audience penetration of 5.8 million outranked even Forbes Property, CNBC.COM, Reuters, CNN Money and And its October visitor count topped 14 million, up 34 percent from the year before.

Pamela Springer, president and CEO, says Manta's appeal is simple: give information away for free and let listed companies update and add to the information that's there. Revenue comes from advertising, she says.

"We have democratized this information and leveled the playing field," she says. "It's not just the big guys anymore."

She says Manta's primary target audiences are small-business owners, account executives and business development professionals, senior executives, researchers and analysts who are looking not just for information, but to connect.

Boosted by a $1.2-million Ohio Third Frontier Innovation Loan in 2006, Manta continues to report breakneck growth, both in audience and employment. When ECNext launched in 2003, the company employed 12; Manta now employs 45, with plans for an additional 10 this year.

Source: Pamela Springer, Manta
Writer: Gene Monteith


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