March 10, 1997 6:15 PM ET
BigBook has big plans for growth
By Renee Deger

  BigBook Inc., one of the largest "yellow pages" listing sites on the Web, today began offering detailed search capabilities through a brand new corporate investor that, in turn, will start selling BigBook Web pages.

The investor, American Business Information, of Omaha, Neb., the second-largest business-oriented data collection company, put up more than $1 million during BigBook's latest investment round, totaling $7.8 million, the company announced today.

"We will be leveraging [ABI's] distribution channel to sell local BigBook products," said Kris Hagerman, CEO of San Francisco-based BigBook. "And we can expand their product."

Venture capital investors Altos Ventures, Brinson Partners Inc. and New Enterprise Associates; investment bank Hambrecht & Quist; and Korea Information and Communications Co. Ltd. also invested in the round.

The money will pay for a new national sales force and beefed-up marketing of BigBook's services, as well as research and development, said Suzanne Tuchler, director of marketing at BigBook.

BigBook already licensed one of ABI's services, a simple phone-number and address listing for businesses, when the companies decided to explore a deeper relationship, said Neil Edwards, vice president of ABI's Internet Division.

Two other ABI services will be offered at Big Book's Web site, and ABI's sales force will sell a BigBook offering launched last month that provides Web site development and management to small companies, starting at $50 per month, said Tuchler. The companies will share in the revenue generated from sales of that service.

The companies will also share in revenue generated by the new ABI services now offered on BigBook's Web site--a business profile and credit report search service and a database that generates sales leads within targeted areas or among specific populations of companies, said Edwards.

The search service will be priced at $3 per search, while the database service will cost 50 cents for each entry retrieved.

BigBook can be accessed at www.bigbook.com. ABI is at www.lookupUSA.com.

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