IAC acquires Felix; pay-per-call ads for SMBs

IAC acquires Felix; pay-per-call ads for SMBs

Summary: IAC's Citygrid Media group acquires pay-per-call advertising service Felix from Yext, which seeks additional capital to grow its paid listings business.

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TOPICS: Start-Ups
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IAC's Citygrid Media group has acquired Felix, the pay-per-call advertising business owned by local listings company Yext, for an undisclosed amount.

Yext founder and CEO Howard Lerman wrote in a blog post that the company sought to sell a successful business to plow funds into growing its PowerListings business:

We plan to invest every penny of the proceeds from our sale of Felix to make it possible for every business location on the planet to instantly sync their information everywhere.

Felix, which bills itself as "intelligent local advertising," analyzes customer phone calls to determine which are from actual customers. (Most calls are from wrong numbers, telemarketers and job seekers, which can quickly waste an ad budget, the company says.) It uses speech recognition to transcribe the calls, dumps the useless ones, and displays the remaining calls in the style of visual voicemail.

felix-visual-voicemail-call-inbox

Felix began as a division and was eventually spun-off into a wholly-owned subsidiary. It's on track to bring in $30 million in revenue this year; Yext co-founder Brent Metz will serve as Felix's chief executive.

Topic: Start-Ups

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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