Utah-based TopTenREVIEWS.com is a technology-focused product review site. Founded in January 2003 by Jerry Ropelato, the company began as a website to help parents find web filtering software to protect their children online. TopTenREVIEWS soon expanded its review categories to include unbiased product information and product research, thereby attracting the average consumer. In 2006, TopTenREVIEWS ranked No. 3 on the Rising Star list of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500.
In its current form, the site seeks to give consumers informed and comprehensive product reviews. It provides visitors with easy-to-read, side-by-side product and pricing comparisons to help them research, shop for, and purchase technology products and web services such as ticket vendors. It also provides consumers with the Top 3 products in each of its category and articles with tips on buying and using consumer software and electronics. Other services include movie, video game, and music reviews. TopTenREVIEWS boasts of review ratings of more than 5,500 software and hardware products, consumer electronics, and web services. The site has 3 million pages of content, features 738,027 products, and has 1.2 million reviews.
TopTenREVIEWS follows a strict ‘no pay-for-placement relationships’ policy when reviewing products. It aims to be an objective shopping adviser when it comes to identifying ‘what-to-buy’ for the consumer and plans to launch a ‘where-to-buy’ section soon. As part of its aggressive growth plans, TopTenREVIEWS recently launched a consumer electronics section. The company also formed a relationship with PriceGrabber.com to enhance users’ shopping experience by including pricing comparisons and other PriceGrabber content on its site.
TopTenREVIEWS generates revenue through lead generation and advertising. In 2008 the company opened an office in New York City and added Mark Westlake, a sales professional from About.com and HowStuffWorks.com, to its management team to continue turning ever-increasing Web traffic into additional revenue. Though TopTenREVIEWS refused to divulge any revenue information, the site mentions that it averages an $8 CPM (cost per thousand impressions) rate.
The site mentions that it attracts 3 million unique viewers and 10.4 million page views per month. According to Quantcast, the site attracts 4.7 million page views per month globally, out of which 2.5 million are from the US. based on those numbers, we assess the site’s revenue at less than $1 million a year.
The majority of visitors are male and are between 35-49 years old. Within the site, the most frequented sections are the movie section, which attracts 13% of visitors; the anti-virus section, which attracts 9% of visitors; and the video editing section, which attracts 5% of visitors.
Initially a self-funded company, TopTenREVIEWS raised $6 million from venture capital firms Highway 12 Ventures and Village Ventures in July 2008. The company plans to use the funds to implement its aggressive growth strategy over the next 18 months. The funding, in part, will also result in up to 100 new hires to support the company’s growing infrastructure. What do they need so many people for? Beats me.
This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2008