Fifteen percent of the US workforce is individually employed, yet they are underrepresented on the Internet. -- Bartek Ringwelski, co-founder of SkillSlate
New York, NY (PRWEB) October 20, 2010
SkillSlate (http://www.skillslate.com), a website for easily finding individual service providers such as tutors, dog walkers, and personal trainers, today announced the closing of its first round of institutional capital, co-led by Canaan Partners and First Round Capital, along with participation from a number of prominent New York angel investors, including Jason Finger (Founder & Former CEO of SeamlessWeb), John Caplan (Founder & CEO of The OpenSky Project), John Goldsmith (Board Member of Gerson Lehrman Group), Kal Vepuri, Josh Abramowitz, and Matthew Grodin.
SkillSlate helps consumers find individual service providers online, enabling users to search thousands of business profile pages complete with pictures, prices and reviews. These one-person businesses often provide great service at highly competitive prices, but, until SkillSlate, have been hard to find online. Many individual service providers lack a web presence – and are thus underrepresented in search engines, where 82% of people look for local services. SkillSlate’s technology ensures service providers’ pages surface highly in search engine queries, driving greater web visibility for their services and helping more potential customers find them.
“Fifteen percent of the US workforce is individually employed, yet they are underrepresented on the Internet. SkillSlate gives individual service providers a way to more effectively market themselves to consumers. With the support and guidance of Canaan and First Round Capital, we can now move forward in executing our vision,” said Bartek Ringwelski, co-founder of SkillSlate.
SkillSlate allows consumers to easily filter through individual service providers to find the ones that exactly match the criteria they’re looking for. To build out these filtering tools, the company has taken a focused approach with regard to both service type and geography, ensuring there are a sufficient number of service providers for consumers to receive relevant search results in their area. SkillSlate is currently focused on the greater New York metropolitan region, but plans to expand nationally in the future.
“Although individual service providers tend to be less expensive than companies, finding them online isn’t easy. Search engines tend to favor larger, more established companies, while classified sites don’t give consumers any specific criteria about the people providing services,” said Dan Ciporin, Venture Partner at Canaan Partners. “SkillSlate makes it easy for consumers to find detailed information about service providers by emphasizing pictures, prices, and reviews. Equally important, SkillSlate gives these self-employed individuals the search engine visibility they need in order to be found where a vast number of consumers are looking.”
SkillSlate recently re-launched its site with 3,500 service providers in 10 service categories throughout the New York City area. The company will use this round of funding for technology development and to expand its service category breadth and depth.
“Skillslate will provide value to both buyers and sellers of local services by reducing friction in the discovery and quality assessment process. Their unique approach solves a real problem for both sides of this large and inefficient market,” said Phineas Barnes, Principal at First Round Capital.
SkillSlate allows consumers to easily find local individual service providers like tutors, dog walkers, and personal trainers. SkillSlate aims to empower the more than 16 million individual service providers in the US to more effectively market their services directly to consumers online. SkillSlate provides detailed professional and personal information including pictures, fees, and reviews within a searchable, sortable directory where consumers can find service providers that fit their specific needs. Learn more at http://www.skillslate.com/about
About Canaan Partners Canaan Partners invests in visionary entrepreneurs and provides them the networks, insights and operational guidance required to build high-performance technology and healthcare companies. Founded in 1987, the firm has raised eight funds and completed more than 78 acquisitions and 53 IPOs. With $3 billion under management and a worldwide footprint, the firm is committed to catalyzing the growth of innovative digital media, communications & mobility, enterprise and clean tech companies. Among its successes are Associated Content, the people’s media company; VOIP equipment supplier Acme Packet; CommerceOne, the company that pioneered B2B ecommerce; DoubleClick, the leading online advertising solution; Match.com, the most popular online dating site in the world; and SuccessFactors, the global leader in on-demand performance and talent management solutions. Other Canaan investments include 3Crowd, Active Networks, blip.tv, Blurb, Cardlytics, iYogi, KABAM, Lending Club, ON24, OpenSky, Prime Sense, SOASTA, Tremor Media and Zoosk. Canaan maintains a presence in California, Connecticut, India and Israel. For more information visit http://www.canaan.com.
About First Round Capital
First Round Capital is a seed stage fund dedicated to helping talented entrepreneurs build remarkable companies. Often providing a company’s first outside capital, the team at First Round likes to take an active role and work with the founders to launch a new product or service. First Round Capital invests nationally and has offices in San Francisco, New York and Philadelphia.