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American Business Information Has a New Name—infoUSA—and a New Web Site
Posted On August 17, 1998
American Business Information, Inc. (ABI), the 26-year-old directory publisher based in Omaha, Nebraska, has announced that, effective July 31, it has changed its name to infoUSA, Inc. In making the announcement, Vinod Gupta, founder, chairman, and chief executive officer, said, "Quality business data is our foundation, but the growth of our consumer database and marketing services prompted us to change our name to more accurately reflect our servicesproviding information. It's only fitting to have our new name be infoUSA."

American Business Information was founded in 1972 to provide accurate, affordable sales leads and marketing information about businesses. Through aggressive growth, and the purchase of a number of key competitors (Digital Directory Assistance, Pro CD, and Database America), the company expanded its database to include 11 million U.S. and Canadian businesses, a consumer database of 113 million households, and added database marketing services.

infoUSA is a publicly held company (Nasdaq: IUSAA/IUSAB) with more than 1,000 employees, and revenues exceeding $150 million per year ... quickly approaching the $200 million mark. Nearly 2 million customers use infoUSA productson a number of online services, on CD-ROM, and, since 1996, on the Internet. Its databases are familiar to many searchers, but under a variety of brand names, including American Business Directory, Biz*File, Phone*File, LookupUSA, and PhoneDisc. Partners that have signed up to distribute infoUSA data to more than 1,500 Web sites include Microsoft, AOL, GTE, InfoSpace, and Zip2.

In addition, infoUSA announced the launch of a new Web site ( Using any of the former URLs for the company (;; will bring users to the new site as well. The company states that the site is "dedicated to the needs of small businesses."

There are some free lookup services on the site, though registration is requested. American Yellow Pages can help locate any business by yellow-page heading in any city or state. Businesses can be searched by area, by type of business, or by business name. American Directory Assistance can find businesses and people by name in any city or state. The site also provides some free advice for small businesses ("Sales Leads 101") on marketing, sales strategies, and the power of direct mailusing infoUSA products, of course.

For a fee, customers can access "Sales Leads and Mailing Lists," and create a list of prospects by type of business, geographic region, or company size. The information can be printed, downloaded, or delivered as mailing labels, 3 x 5 sales lead cards, or in prospect list form. Using "Business Profiles & Credit Ratings," users can find a detailed report about any U.S. business. Information provided includes employee size, sales volume, key executives, type of business, credit code, headquarters or subsidiary information, and more. At $5 per report, it's affordable to many small businesses.

"Small businesses are one of the fastest growing yet underserved audiences on the Internet today," said Gupta. " provides information that traditionally only Fortune 500 corporations had access to. We are using Internet technology to continue our tradition of helping small businesses grow their sales and find new customers."

A company representative said that we are now seeing only a preliminary version of what is planned for the new Web site. infoUSA is now in the process of a major overhaul on the site that will change the look and feel considerably. This should be rolled out within the next several months. Additional resources will be added, including links to other sites of particular value for small businesses. The company is now working on developing video yellow pages, where users can view 30-second video clips. A Customer Analyzer feature is in development as well. It will allow a user to list the phone numbers of 10 top customers and receive an analysis of those customers and a list of additional possible customers that are similar in a particular area. Small businessesand largewill want to bookmark this site.

Disclosure Licenses infoUSA Database

In an announcement made subsequent to the reporting of this NewsBreak story, infoUSA said that it had licensed its business database to Disclosure, Inc. for use in Global Access, Disclosure's flagship online source of financial and business information.

According to the announcement, over 300,000 financial, legal, and academic professionals use the online research tool to identify investment opportunities, perform competitive analysis, assess corporate finances, and monitor corporate activity.

Paula J. Hane is a freelance writer and editor covering the library and information industries. She was formerly Information Today, Inc.’s news bureau chief and editor of NewsBreaks.

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