A Silicon Valley-based classified ad startup named Oodle continues to win big deals to try to steal eyeballs away from Craigslist. The latest: Oodle is now powering AOL’s (TWX) new classifieds section. This is in addition to deals the company has to power classified ads for both Facebook and MySpace (NWS). (And the NY Post, WaPo, etc.)
Of course, while the deals are nice, the important part is generating revenue for the sites Oodle works with. AOL (and MySpace and Facebook) have built-in traffic firehoses that should direct some visitors to the classified sections. But it’s going to take some work to get people to visit AOL Classifieds on purpose — when they’re actually trying to make a transaction — instead of going to Craigslist.
Last month Oodle received 10 million visits, according to a blog post by CEO Craig Donato. And it’s doing a nice job increasing traffic to its site, even if its goal is to oursource classifieds to other companies. According to Compete, it had 3.4 million unique visitors in January, representing 108% year-over-year growth. But that’s still a fraction of Craiglist’s 46.9 million January uniques, up 53% year-over-year.
Last month, Oodle raised $5.6 million from existing investors Greylock Partners, Redpoint Ventures, and JAFCO Ventures, bringing its total financing to $21.6 million.