Launches Hyperlocal Community Site in Sunnyvale

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Third Site in Bay Area combines a collection of unique user-generated local news, information, blogs, business reviews and advertising.

Backfence Inc. ( has launched its third Bay Area hyperlocal community Web site in Sunnyvale increasing its coverage on the Peninsula. The site, which follows Backfence’s launch of hyperlocal sites in Palo Alto and San Mateo, features local news, blogs, photographs, reviews and events contributed by members of the community.

Sunnyvale civic leaders are applauding the focus on their community which is considered one of the most inventive cities in the country, open to new technologies, and the home of several pioneer Internet companies.

“We’re very excited about the launch of Backfence Sunnyvale,” said Suzi Blackman, President and CEO of the Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce. “Having a resource designed specifically for Sunnyvale, where the entire community can contribute news, information, and reviews, will enhance the Chamber’s work, benefit local businesses and ensure local residents can discuss and participate in issues that are important to them,” she added.

Dan Payomo, general manager for Backfence in the Bay Area noted, “Sunnyvale was a natural choice for us. Sunnyvale is one of the most wired cities in the country and has a great history for Internet companies, civic activism, and a strong business community.”

“The San Francisco Bay Area is a great market for Backfence,” said Susan DeFife, CEO of Backfence, which is based in Vienna, Va. “The people who live here are active in their communities, spend a lot of time online and want to engage with other members of their community. The excitement and interest surrounding our launches in Palo Alto and San Mateo were key factors in our decision to expand into Sunnyvale.” DeFife said Backfence plans to open several more sites in Bay Area communities over the next few months.

About Backfence

Founded in 2004 by Mark Potts and Susan DeFife, Backfence ( has its headquarters in Vienna, Va. The company is building advertising-backed hyperlocal community Web sites consisting entirely of content contributed by readers. The sites provide news coverage of the communities, as well as event listings, ratings and reviews of local businesses, photo galleries, free consumer-to-consumer classifieds, and other services. Access to the sites is free, and all that is required to post information is a simple registration. Backfence is supported by local and national advertising, including display ads, enhanced Yellow Pages listings and business classified ads—all priced low enough to make purchasing an ad to reach a local community a “cash-register decision” for local businesses. Backfence launched its first sites in McLean and Reston, Va. in May 2005 and has since added sites in Bethesda, Md., and Arlington, Chantilly, and Ashburn, Va. The company has also launched sites in the San Francisco Bay Area including Palo Alto, San Mateo, and Sunnyvale. The company raised $3 million in funding in October 2005 from SAS Investors of New York, Omidyar Network of Silicon Valley, and a group of Washington-area private investors. The company has 28 employees.


Daniel N. Payomo Jr., Bay Area General Manager, Backfence Inc.

(650) 577-2390

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