Manta Secures $44 Million Equity Investment From Norwest Venture Partners

Tue Apr 3, 2012 7:30am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

  COLUMBUS, OH, Apr 03 (Marketwire) -- 
Manta, the largest online community dedicated entirely to small business,
announced today that it has received a $44 million minority equity
investment from Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), a leading global
investment firm. 

    Manta has built the leading online community that more than 89 million
small business owners are leveraging to improve their online presence,
gain increased visibility with customers and prospects and ultimately
increase sales. Manta enables small business owners to create, manage and
share their online identities, promote their companies, products and
services, build and engage with an extensive network and access shared
knowledge and insights. The company recently announced major enhancements
to its platform that help small businesses build their referral network
through recommendations and social connections tools. These tools are
optimized for mobile, creating a unique first-time view into the
relationships and connections these businesses have with Manta members.

    "Manta provides a one-of-a-kind online community for small businesses and
the company's remarkable growth speaks to the clear demand for its unique
value proposition," said Jon Kossow, general partner, NVP. "Manta is the
de facto platform for small businesses to connect with customers and each
other, as evidenced by the company's more than 25 million unique monthly
visitors and over 3,000 business owners joining the community daily."

    "Our investment in Manta is in line with NVP's strategy to invest in
profitable, rapidly growing business leaders," said David Su, vice
president, NVP. "The $40B+ addressable market in which Manta plays is
immense, and the company continues to grow rapidly as small businesses
look to expand their online presence."

    "Our investors share Manta's commitment to helping small businesses grow,
and NVP's support will allow us to stay focused on delivering the most
powerful online community for these businesses," said Pamela Springer,
CEO of Manta. "Eighty percent of U.S. businesses have fewer than nine
employees and we will continue executing our vision for meeting the
unique needs of this important market."

    With this investment, NVP's Jon Kossow and David Su have joined Manta's
board of directors. The board includes directors from existing
shareholders, Athenian Venture Partners and Reservoir Venture Partners,
who have supported Manta in its growth to date and will continue their
support going forward.

    "We have worked closely with Manta's management to grow the company since
our initial investment in 2000, and its performance has exceeded all
expectations," said Karl Elderkin, managing partner, Athenian Venture
Partners, which will continue to retain a significant stake in the
company. "Manta's focused vision and brilliant execution is impressive,
and we're excited that an Ohio-based company is leading the charge in
this sector. Bringing on NVP is yet another proof point of the company's
dominance in the online SMB community."

    About Manta 
 Manta helps small businesses profit, connect and grow
through the largest online community dedicated entirely to small
business. Millions of people come to Manta each day to buy from, partner
with and connect to companies. By joining Manta, small businesses easily
harness the power of the Internet. Get visible; grow your business for
free at www.manta.com. 

    About Norwest Venture Partners (NVP)
 Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) is a
global venture and growth equity investment firm that manages more than
$3.7 billion in capital. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, NVP has
subsidiaries in Mumbai and Bengaluru, India and Herzelia, Israel and Hong
Kong. NVP makes early to late stage venture and growth equity investments
across a wide range of sectors including: information technology,
business services, financial services, infrastructure, technology enabled
services and consumer. NVP has actively partnered with entrepreneurs to
build great businesses for more than 50 years and has funded over 500
companies since inception. For more information visit: www.nvp.com.

    About Athenian Venture Partners
 Athenian Venture Partners identifies and
cultivates intellectual capital in two of the most dynamic market
segments: Information Technology and Healthcare. The Athenian team takes
a thoughtful approach to investing, doing the rational work upfront with
accountability to both its investors and its portfolio companies. With a
presence in California, Massachusetts and Ohio, Athenian Venture Partners
spans the most interesting technology and healthcare communities to
create new investment opportunities others may miss and deliver proven
results for the long term. 

    

Contact: 
Aimee Eichelberger
(415) 963-4174 ext. 7
Manta (at) bordersgratehouse (dot) com 

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