May
14
2019
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CEO Howard Lerman on building a public company and the future of Yext

It’s just over two years since Yext debuted on the New York Stock Exchange, and to mark the occasion, I sat down with co-founder and CEO Howard Lerman for an interview.

As Lerman noted, Yext — which allows businesses to manage their profiles and information across a wide variety of online services — actually presented onstage at the TechCrunch 50 conference back in 2009. Now, it boasts a market capitalization of nearly $2.3 billion, and it just revealed plans to take over a nine-floor building in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, turning it into Yext’s global headquarters.

My interview with Lerman actually came before the announcement, though he managed to drop in a few veiled hints about the company making a big move in real estate.

More concretely, we talked about how Lerman’s management style has evolved from scrappy startup founder to a public company CEO — he described holding five-minute meetings with every Yext employee as “one of the best management techniques” he’s ever adopted.

Lerman also argued that as online misinformation has become a big issue, Yext has only become more important: “Our founding principle is that the ultimate authority on how many calories are in a Big Mac is McDonald’s. The ultimate authority on where Burger King is open is Burger King.”

Vowing that he will remain CEO of Yext for “as long as this board will have me,” Lerman ended our conversation with a passionate defense of the idea that “a company is the ultimate vehicle in America to effect good in the world.”

You can read a transcript of our conversation below, edited and condensed for clarity.

TechCrunch: To start with a really broad question, how do you think Yext is different now than it was two years ago?

Howard Lerman: One of the things that’s defined Yext over the years is our continuous willingness to reinvent ourselves. You started covering us in 2009 [at] TechCrunch 50, we were a launch company there.

And here we are now. One of the cool things about being public is: It’s a total gamechanger. It’s a gamechanger not just for access to capital, but it’s particularly important in global markets. And I’m not talking about capital markets, I’m talking about the markets in which we sell software. We have offices now from Berlin to Shanghai.

Sep
14
2017
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Yext looks to help businesses make their information more searchable by machines

 Yext has been known for helping businesses get all their information (like location, business hours, and such) lined up correctly on the right apps and websites — and now it’s looking to make sure the rest of the pitch is right across the Internet. Yext, which went public earlier this year, said it is launching a feature called knowledge tags to help businesses make their websites… Read More

Jun
01
2017
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Yext passes its first test as a publicly traded company

 Yext’s first earnings report as a publicly traded company seems to be a boringly pleasant one — but that’s a good thing for a company that needs to show strong performance out of the gate. Read More

Apr
13
2017
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Yext shares pop more than 20% in public debut

Yext Graphic B It looks like we can add another to the string of IPOs that at least look like they’ve been successful — with Yext, too, popping more than 20% once its shares made their debut this morning. Shares of Yext went as high as $14 or so after the company gave its final pricing at $11 last night — meaning it raised at least $115.5 million in its IPO. Following Okta, and before… Read More

Apr
12
2017
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Yext is set to raise $115.5M in its IPO after final pricing

 Yext today said it would price its initial public offering at $11, meaning the company will raise around $115.5 million in its IPO as it sets up for a debut tomorrow. Read More

Mar
17
2017
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Equity podcast: The return of IPOs and Tesla’s billion-dollar bet

 One down, many more to go! The first episode of TechCrunch’s latest podcast, Equity, our venture capital-focused podcast is out.
This week, TechCrunch’s Matthew Lynley, CrunchBase editor-in-chief Alex Wilhelm and I sat down with investor and SaaStr founder Jason Lemkin to talk about Tesla’s $1 billion raise, the return of IPOs and recent acquisitions in the technology… Read More

Mar
13
2017
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New York-based Yext files for IPO

 Yext, the company that powers location data in search results, has revealed its IPO filing. The business will be able to join the stock market as soon as April. Read More

Jan
19
2017
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Yext hires new president as it looks to IPO

attending the Yext Launch Party at 1 Madison Ave., NY on Oct 1, 2015 Photo By: (Ken Arcara/Guest of a Guest) Yext, the company that helps businesses make sure that their location data appears correctly in search results, is announcing that Jim Steele will be joining the company full-time as president and chief revenue officer. Steele was previously on the board at Yext and was most recently at InsideSales. “I found a new younger Mark Benioff and I’m really excited,” Steele says… Read More

Jan
29
2016
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Our 2016 Predictions For The IPO Market

New York Stock Exchange 2015 was not a good year for IPOs — it was actually the worst year for tech IPOs since the financial crisis in 2009. More and more startups are opting to remain private for longer periods of time. And while we still haven’t seen any IPOs in 2016, the slowest start since 2009, eventually venture-backed companies need to go public — if only to raise additional financing to… Read More

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