Things are looking bright for website optimization startup Optimizely, which offers easy A/B testing for companies’ websites using a visual interface (that means no engineering or coding). It’s just raised Series A funding of $28 million – the kind of sum to cause any product manager or business development associate to hug themselves in glee..
Modest beginnings, big results
Having only raised $3.2 million previously, this represents a major step forward for the firm. Not that the modest earlier funding has impaired its performance: Dan Siroker, Optimizely’s co-founder and CEO, reveals that it’s already hit an annualized revenue rate of “double-digit millions”. And revenue is soaring by 400 per cent a year (don’t you just wish you were product manager there?).
Not only that but it’s managed to sign up a glittering list of customers, not least amongst whom were the Obama and Romney 2012 presidential campaigns (in 2008, Siroker acted as Obama’s director of analytics). Others include MTV, The Walt Disney Company, Fox Interactive Media and CBS.
Optimizely’s existing investors InterWest Partners, Battery Ventures and Google Partners participated in the latest funding round, which was led by Benchmark. Also participating was Bain Capital Ventures. Benchmark partner Peter Fenton will now sit on Optimizely’s board of directors, becoming the first outsider to do so (the board consisted previously of Siroker and his co-founder Pete Koomen).
The sky’s the limit
Siroker says that the cash injection allows the firm to be “really ambitious” on several fronts. For one thing, it’s expanding internationally, having opened a European office in Amsterdam last year and over the next quarter aims to launch in 36 other countries, covering nine different languages between them. It has existing customers in each of the languages targeted.
But that’s not all: Optimizely will shortly move into a swish new San Francisco office – all 56,000 square feet of it. Ambitious project managers looking for pastures new might note that that’s going to provide room for a further 450 employees to add the firm’s existing headcount of 68.
Siroker’s big vision is to expand the company beyond testing so that it can offer a platform enabling websites to personalize themselves for each visitor. As Siroker puts it.
“We’re going to be enabling businesses to show exactly the right thing to the right person at the right time.”