SOURCE: MerchantCircle

MerchantCircle

August 24, 2010 14:06 ET

MerchantCircle Announces Navam Welihinda as Director of Finance

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwire - August 24, 2010) -  MerchantCircle, the nation's largest social network of local business owners, today announced that Navam Welihinda has joined the company as director of finance. Welihinda will lead the company's financial management as MerchantCircle builds on its member base of more than 1.3 million merchants. Welihinda comes to MerchantCircle from Sierra Ventures, where he evaluated investment opportunities in the software sector, helped shape investment strategy, and provided portfolio companies with counsel on operational models and other capital raise strategies.

"Navam will be a key member of the MerchantCircle team as we capitalize on the $65 billion local advertising market," said Ben Smith IV, chairman and co-founder of MerchantCircle. "As MerchantCircle continues to grow our merchant base and revenue, Navam will play a critical role in broadening our business and helping MerchantCircle to bring more value to local merchants connecting with local consumers."

Prior to Sierra Ventures, Welihinda held analyst positions at Insight Ventures in New York and American Capital Strategies in Washington, D.C. At both companies Welihinda performed due diligence and helped to close several investments in early-stage technology companies. Welihinda graduated with a degree in Computer Science from Dartmouth College.

"I jumped at the opportunity to join MerchantCircle at this stage of growth, and in a category with as much up-side as local advertising," said Welihinda. "I look forward to working with Ben and the rest of team as MerchantCircle continues to launch innovative products that help small business owners using online marketing and social media to promote their companies."

About MerchantCircle

Founded in 2005, MerchantCircle is the largest social network of local business owners in the nation, combining social networking features with a variety of free marketing tools that enable local merchants to maximize their online exposure. Currently, more than 1.3 million merchants use the MerchantCircle network to upload pictures, blog, create coupons and newsletters and connect with other merchants. Over 20 million MerchantCircle business listings across the U.S.CanadaUnited Kingdom and Australia are accessed through major search engines. In addition to free services, MerchantCircle offers a portfolio of premium online advertising solutions including search engine marketing and instant website development.

Recognized by JMP Securities as one of the "100 Best Privately Held Internet Companies," MerchantCircle is based in Mountain View, Calif., and funded by Rustic Canyon Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Steamboat Ventures and IAC. Learn more at www.merchantcircle.com.

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