Founded in 2005, MerchantCircle is the largest on-line network of local business owners in the nation, combining social networking features with free marketing tools that enable merchants to maximize their on-line visibility. Over 1.6 million merchants use the tools offered on MerchantCircle to create conversations with customers and connect with other local merchants. In addition to its free services, MerchantCircle offers a portfolio of premium on-line advertising solutions including search engine marketing and instant website development. In 2010, MerchantCircle acquired TimeBridge and the popular Bloglines service to further extend its network offerings. MerchantCircle is based in Mountain View, Calif., and funded by Ron Conway, Rustic Canyon Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Steamboat Ventures and IAC.