by Lorna Li

Search-engine marketing company Vantage Media Corp. raised a whopping $70 million Series A funding from Montgomery & Co., Scale Venture Partners, Tudor Ventures and Integral Capital Partners. Montgomery and Co., which acquired major equity stake in Vantage, helped sell MySpace to News Corp. and has been active in a string of deals with Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Sony Corp.

Vantage Media, based in Venice, CA, “specializes in customized, integrated search marketing campaigns for the education sector.” They manage more than 40 million keywords on Web search advertising systems and grew their business by reselling hot search terms from pay-per-click advertising providers Google and Yahoo to online education companies, such as University of Phoenix Online, Corinthian Colleges Inc. and Career Education Corp.

Founder and President Mark DiPaolo originally financed Vantage in 2002 on his credit card, however, the company has been profitable since day one. Vantage Media earns roughly $50M in annual revenue (about $1M per employee) but its new CEO Steve Jillings, the former chief executive of anti-SPAM company Frontbridge Technologies, anticipates growing to $200M in a couple of years. They hope to IPO in 2008.

This is the first time Vantage Media has taken outside funding. The $70M will allow Vantage Media to expand their services to Europe and new industry segments.

For more info, click here.

by Lorna Li

The online job search sector is becoming

Today, Austin’s itzBig raised $4M in Series A funding. Not too long ago, Seattle’s Jobster, a MySpace for job seekers and employers, raised $18 million from investors. Can Web 2.0 revolutionize the way we get our next job?

Here’s my two cents on the job boards out there. I’ve been hunting for a Search Engine Marketing job, ideally for a tech startup. It’s no easy feat, given my background is entirely nonprofit. My recent job search sent me on a tour of several job boards and professional networks, from the no-frills community favorite Craigslist, to former Web 1.0 darling, SimplyHired – the world’s largest search engine for jobs, LinkedIn and Doostang. Now that I am hired, I regret missing out on the opportunity to test Jobster.

As with many things on Craigslist, job-surfing Craigslist comes with a randomness factor of 9. For every 9 tries, you get back 1 relevant response. Don’t use it for dating.

Monster’s registration is tedious, the site is crawled by recruiters, Monster “agents” ping your mailbox with irrelevant job posts, and annoying special offers bar the way between you and the job listing. Oh, did I mention that the jobs are sparse and infrequent. Two thumbs down.

Fortunately, my tech-savvy friends are much more up to date than I. One of my friends invited me to join Doostang. Doostang is an invite only community that gives you access to jobs available through your personal network and affiliation. Definitely promising, and hey VCs – they’re looking for funding!

Nitin Borwanker, founder of, turned me on to Simply Hired and saved me from the pain of registering anywhere else. Simply Hired received a $13.5 million strategic investment by News Corporation’s Fox Interactive Media and prestigious venture capital firm Foundation Capital in April, 2006.

A search on “Search Marketing” pulled up fresh, abundant, and relevant job listings. Nifty buttons will also tell you the salary range for the closest position and who in your LinkedIn network can get you an intro.

In a world, I recommend using SimplyHired and LinkedIn for double impact. If you’re not on LinkedIn, you’re missing out on a primo opportunity to glam up your resume, give yourself the title you always wanted, and pepper your profile with glowing accolades from former clients, colleagues and bosses.

I signed up for LinkedIn years ago, but only recently decided to take Guy Kawasaki’s advice. Check it out:

Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn Profile Extreme Makeover

Based in Palo Alto, LinkedIn recently raised $12.8 Million from Bessemer Venture Partners and European Founders Fund to accelerate global growth. Previous funding included $4.7 million in Series A funding from Sequoia Capital in 2003 a Series B round of $10 million from Greylock in 2004. LinkedIn reached profitability in 2006.

I love LinkedIn. I get updates from my network and see which of my friends are out there working it. I see my most networking-savvy friends add new contacts exponentially. Because I’m competitive, I’m determined to beat them all. It’s a race – whoever gets to the LinkedIn 500+ wins.

Megan McCarthy of Valleywag, Photo Credit: Brian Solis

It’s a Web 2.0 rodeo and the those behind the new round-up are holding on with both hands!

Fresh from the Dealmaker Media launch event (see here for coverage), Adriana Gascoigne and Nandor Fejer headed over to SFBeta to cover the scene for tv. The event, hosted by Christian Perry, was held at 111 Minna, which is quickly becoming the new 2.0 party HQ. This had to be the event’s biggest turnout yet.

Click here for Video

The bub crew caught up with several entrepreneurs, CEOs, VCs, bloggers, and developers to discuss the latest on the tech landscape, listen to jazz and enjoy cocktails.

Video interviews include:

  • James Hong of Hot or Not
  • Keith Schacht of JobCoin
  • Paul Lancaster with ServePath

We unfortunately missed the opportunity to interview SFBeta sponsor, My-Currency, which was fresh from their launch at Demo 07. So, here’s a link to their video from the Demo instead…

Christian Perry, Photo Credit: Brian Solis

Jeremy Toeman of LiveDigitally and Gabe Rivera of TechMeme

Andre Lewis Demo’ing HotSpotr, Photo Credit: Julie Blaustein
For more pictures from the event, jump over to Brian Solis‘ album on flickr.

For Julie Blaustein’s pictures, jump over to her album on Photobucket.

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Well, we always knew she was, but now you can help make it official!

Cast your vote for our very own vlogger, Adriana Gascoigne, over at ValleyWag…

They’re running a series of contests to find the hottest male and female vloggers on the Web.

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by Brian Solis

It was one of those nights again…SF Win, SF Big, SFBeta and the Insider launch party for Dealmaker Media.

Adriana Gascoigne

Ferrin Schriner and Giselle Umland of Dealmaker Media

I admire the team at IBDNetwork (Debbie Landa, Alison Murdock, Christen O’Brien, Shay Nowick, Giselle Umland, and Ferrin Schriner) and the events that they produce. So, I felt an obligation to support their relaunch as Dealmaker Media.

Debbie Landa, the ultimate “Dealmaker”

Steve Larsen, CEO of Krugle

Held at the very chic Varnish Art Gallery and Wine Bar in San Francisco, Dealmaker’s launch was indeed

Dealmaker Media produces conferences, roundtables, blogs, and research that connect CEOs, technology executives, investors, and press together with first-hand information about private companies, emerging markets and trends, and strategies for growth.

Debbie Landa and Alison Murdock

The event was overflowing with influencers at every level, CEOs, VCs, bloggers, reporters, and biz dev execs. Conversations spanned from technology, Web 2.0, as well as the ever popular exploration as to whether or not we’re in a bubble and if so, when will it pop.

Stowe Boyd

Peter Pham of Photobucket

David Fleck of Bittorrent, Christen O’Brien and Cody Willard,

Julia French

Those in attendance – and those I was able to hold dialog for a meaningful bit of time included Jeremy Toeman of Livedigitally, Gabe Rivera of Techmeme, Stowe Boyd, Adriana Gascoigne, Dan Farber of CNET, Steve Larsen of Krugle, Jason Hoffman of Joyent, Joanne Wan of GigaOm, Annette Kildunne of Invest Northern Ireland, Jing Liu of Mino and Lisa Padilla, vlogger.

Joanne Wan of GigaOm

Jason Hoffman of Joyent

Congratulations to the Dealmaker Media team. The event was well received and it definitely consumed most of my evening, only leaving room for one more event that night – which turned out to be SFBeta.

Looking forward to their next event, Under The Radar: Why Office 2.0 Matters.

For more pictures from the event, jump to the flickr stream.