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Zip.ch raises CHF 1.5 million to speed up its expansion
Lausanne (ots) - Launched in March 2015, Zip.ch aims to rapidly capture one-third of Switzerland's online directory traffic through its free listing services targeted at both businesses and individuals. The new version of the Zip.ch directory is due to be launched in June this year. Revenues will mainly come from advertising and premium services.
Businesses and self-employed individuals will be able to increase their web visibility and improve their SEO rankings, thanks to a much more detailed profile page than the one currently provided by the actual player, which has a virtual monopoly.
Following an in-depth review of the online directories market and the unsatisfactory services offered by the established players, a group of investors close to the Family Office Colombo based in Switzerland decided to support Zip.ch's expansion. One member of the investor group explained: This company will rapidly become a key player in the Swiss online directories landscape, due to the services it offers, which are disruptive and better-suited to users' requirements.
Alexandre de Senger, Zip.ch's founder and CEO, added: "By bringing on board such high-calibre equity investors, we have significantly strengthened our growth potential. We are about to shake up this market by introducing our 'freemium' model, which offers far more benefits to SMEs, who will finally have an alternative to local.ch and search.ch."
As a result of this fundraising, Zip.ch now has the financing needed to achieve its ambitious goals and oppose the dominant position held by Swisscom Directories in the Swiss online directories market. Note that, in March 2015, local.ch and search.ch, which are among the most visited websites in Switzerland, were merged under Swisscom Directories AG, whose equity is 69%-owned by Swisscom and 31%-owned by Tamedia. Although this merger resulted in a dominant market position, this transaction was approved by COMCO, the Swiss competition commission.
New version going online shortly
In the upcoming weeks, a newly-designed version featuring display advertising will go online. In the summer, a major new version is due to be released and will enable users (businesses and self-employed individuals) to manage their data. They will be able to add a description of their business at no extra charge, choose their listing categories, specify their opening hours, and display their web addresses or social media links. As a comparison, the competitor local.ch charges CHF 420 a year simply to add a company's URL (e.g. www.mycompany.ch).
The website Zip.ch is operated by 'zip.ch SA', a Swiss-based company. Zip.ch provides a free and simple online directory service available for desktops, tablets and smartphones (via an app). The platform's main USPs are its streamlined design, intuitive search function, and clear results.