Local search marketing firm ReachLocal announced a $55.2 million round of funding today, led by Rho Ventures. ReachLocal, like Marchex and WebVisible, is a local search fulfillment agency, according to Marchex's view of the local search landscape. They offer advertisers packages of local ads from Google, Yahoo, MSN, Superpages and others. For the past year, ReachLocal has been building out its sales force to reach local advertisers. Its 11 sales offices in the U.S. are set to expand dramatically with the new infusion of cash.
"Essentially the company is building a yellow-pages style sales force without the directory publication (Weblistic and Yodle are attempting something similar). It's an audacious but possible enterprise," writes Greg Sterling of Sterling Market Intelligence. "There's clearly an SMB appetite for Internet distribution and a need for someone to educate and help SMBs get from where they are to the various consumer points of entry on the Internet."