On a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, Internet veteran Jeff Stibel has quietly been assembling a powerhouse team of executives, gathered from his experience building companies like Web.com and United Online. His newest firm, D&B Credibility Corp., is taking a storied brand name--Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, and William B. McKinley all once worked for the firm--and moving it into the Internet age. Just over a year ago, Stibel, with the backing of over $100M in funding from private equity firm Great Hill Partners, acquired the business credit operations of Dun & Bradstreet, intent on leveraging the brand into the world of the Internet. The company has since doubled its worldwide staff to more than 500, and grown its Malibu headquarters by five times.
Stibel, in an interview at a ribbon cutting and grand opening of its new headquarters in Malibu Thursday evening, said the firm has benefited from the shaky economic situation, which has spurred its business customers to shape up their credit reports. Stibel said that many of its customers have been turning to trade credit--credit from suppliers--due to lack of other capital, meaning that the firm's services have been in high demand despite a shaky economy. Stibel and other executives at the firm say that the growth is not over--the firm has plenty of space to expand into in Malibu--and that it believes it can thrive in any economy as it shifts D&B's business from one based on transactions to one based on subscriptions.