North Carolina-based Dex One, the current owner of Santa Monica-based Business.com, said this week that it is shutting down Business.com, and realigning those operations, merging them into its current business. The shutdown comes three years after Dex One paid $345M for Business.com. Business.com offered up an online directory of local businesses, combined with content and expert commentary. Dex One said that "the Business.com operations are no longer viable and are not a part of our long-term plans." Dex One--formerly known as R.H. Donnelley--is a publisher of yellow pages, and recently emerged from bankruptcy protection. Dex One said it will continue to manage the Business.com site and support existing customers through an extended transition period. The firm did not say how the shutdown will affect the Santa Monica operations of Business.com.
Business.com had been the latest success for Southern California entrepreneur Jake Weinbaum, who built the firm from a domain name into a firm with over $50M in revenues in 2007. The firm was backed by investors eCompanies, Benchmark Capital, Cahners Business Information, Financial Times Group, Industryclick, Institutional Venture Partners, and McGraw-Hill. Weinbaum eventually became president of R.H. Donnelley's interactive unit, but later left the firm. At the time of the acquisition by R.H. Donnelly, the firm had employed 100. Business.com was also known for its record breaking purchase of the Business.com domain in 1999, for a record $7.5M.