500 Startups, CIT, Brightstar, Militello Capital and Industry Leaders Participate
HERNDON, VA–(Marketwire – Mar 18, 2013) – YaSabe, America’s largest and fastest growing local search destination that caters to Hispanic consumers, announced today that it has closed a seed round of both institutional and angel funding totaling $2.7M. YaSabe, which means ‘now you know’ in Spanish, provides comprehensive and bilingual information about local merchants and service providers, special offers and coupons, classified advertising, including job listings, all with a focus on Latin culture and community. The round includes institutional funding from 500 Startups, the Center for Innovative Technology’s (CIT) Gap Fund, and Militello Capital, who led the round. Prominent angel investors participating in the round include Frank Bonsal, founder of NEA; Sol Trujillo, former CEO of US West; Brightstar, the largest U.S. Hispanic-owned business and others.
Through both English and Spanish interfaces, YaSabe targets anyone searching for culturally- relevant products, services and experiences. As an example, a YaSabe search for restaurants in Washington, D.C. returns listings and coupons separated into 16 distinct categories of Latin cuisine, as well as listings for non-Latin food. Additionally, the YaSabe job board exclusively displays positions for bilingual speakers.
YaSabe also provides a human-powered social concierge service called Ayudame (‘help me’) through which consumers can ask YaSabe’s local experts for help in finding the right community information. No other service offers this level of depth for results pertaining to Hispanic culture.
“Existing local media simply do not address the unique needs of U.S. Hispanics, who collectively represent more than $1.2T in buying power*,” said Zubair Talib, CEO of YaSabe. “We take a multicultural approach to this audience and provide users with high-quality, culturally-relevant content and the ability to participate in the social dialog within the Latino community. If Hispanics are important to your business, this is the place to find and engage them through culture and community.”
“500 Startups is actively seeking companies that are building business models designed to leverage the buying power of the U.S. Hispanic marketplace,” says Bedy Yang, a venture partner at 500 Startups focused on multicultural markets. “With YaSabe we were impressed with the traction they have built to date and at past companies along with their deep knowledge of how to engage and motivate this important market.”
YaSabe offers media partners a powerful, focused platform to help them reach U.S. Hispanics. The company syndicates relevant content and offers partners new revenue opportunities and expanded audiences. Because of its scale and focused bilingual content, YaSabe has helped to elevate search rankings across the Web for information that targets U.S. Hispanics.
The seed funding will be used for product development, marketing, and continued development of content, traffic, and advertiser partnerships.
YaSabe is America’s largest and fastest growing local search destination for businesses, coupons, and jobs that cater to Hispanic consumers. YaSabe connects millions of users annually to online listings, cultural content and community-sourced information. Offering a fully bilingual interface, including personalized email responses from local experts, YaSabe has grown by 800%, year-over-year. For content publishers and advertisers, YaSabe provides partnership possibilities with syndicated content, revenue opportunities, and access to expanded Hispanic audiences. For more, visit www.YaSabe.com.
*University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth, 2012