Famed venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has increased its bet on FindTheBest—the startup just closed a new round of funding with the firm.
FindTheBest was founded by Kevin O'Connor, whose previous startup, DoubleClick, was eventually acquired by Google for $3.1 billion and is now a key part of the search giant's ad-serving technology. With his new company, O'Connor has tried to create a destination where people can find all the data they need to compare different products and services, for example if you're trying to find the right smartphone (or golf course, or business school, and so on).
The startup's connections to DoubleClick don't stop with O'Connor. Early DoubleClick employee Rabin Yaghoubi recently joined FindTheBest as president, and he told Adweek that one of his main jobs is to build out the organization's business and advertising side. The site doesn't run ads yet, but Yaghoubi argued that it's a natural fit, since advertisers will be able to reach shoppers right when they're about to make a purchase decision. As part of its larger ad strategy, Yaghoubi said FindTheBest will design its own ad units. Similar to Google's paid search ads, companies will pay to place their FindTheBest listings at the top of different comparison pages. (They'll be marked as sponsored listings, of course.)
Data for the comparisons is gathered by FindTheBest employees and submitted by businesses, and the company is also looking at adding user reviews. Yaghoubi said FindTheBest now has the technology to rapidly expand its content, both on FindTheBest.com and sister sites. The site receives around 2 million unique monthly visitors, and that number is growing by 15 or 20 percent per month.
When added to FindTheBest's previous funding from Kleiner, the company has now raised about $6 million. The money comes from Kleiner's sFund for social networking startups. That seems a bit odd, since FindTheBest doesn't appear to have made social features a big priority, but Yaghoubi said there are opportunities to add those features in the future. For example, users could ask their social network connections to help them choose between products.
"We don't want to do social for the sake of social, but as an organic part of the decision-making process," Yaghoubi said.