Optimizely 'on pace to grow faster than any other SaaS company in history'

"We're just getting started," CEO and ex-Googler Dan Siroker says. The company raised $28 million for its A/B testing platform.


Optimizely, the San Francisco-based startup web optimization company, announced this morning that it raised $28 million to take its A/B and multivariate testing platform global.

The company's rise has been swift. It began as an idea hatched by two former Google product managers, Dan Siroker and Pete Koomen, sometime after Siroker led the Obama 2008 presidential campaign analytics effort. The company completed Y Combinator in 2010, and in the two or so years since has become, in its own words, "the leading A/B and multivariate testing platform in the world," with clients that include Starbucks, Salesforce, and CBS Corp., ZDNet's parent company.

The new funding round was led by Benchmark Capital and included Bain Capital Ventures, Battery Ventures, InterWest Partners, and Google Ventures. Why so much? An annual revenue growth rate of more than 400 percent and a run rate in "double digit millions" means this is a considerably large business. (Indeed, the company needed a new 56,000 sq. ft. office in San Francisco just to house its increasing headcount: 68 to date, with space for up to 450. Wowza.)

Siroker writes:

We're on pace to grow revenue faster than any other SaaS company in history. We launched in October 2010, reached cash-flow positive in October 2011, and our annual growth rate from March of 2012 to March 2013 is over 400%. Today our revenue run rate is in the double digit millions with no end in sight. Revenue has grown so fast that cash has never been a constraint on hiring. Instead we’ve focused on whether or not a candidate is the best possible person for the job. Having an additional $28 million in the bank will make this even easier to do.

He added: "We firmly believe that 10 years from now people will look back at today and be shocked at how generic, impersonal, and one-to-many what we call the web is. Businesses like Amazon, Google, and Facebook are all rooted in the idea that they can use the data they have about their visitors to deliver them a better experience. It is inevitable that the web will look more like Amazon, Google, and Facebook than it looks today. We are striving to become the layer on top of the web that powers that experience."

The funds will be used for product development (more targeting, personalization), infrastructure, customer support and international expansion (this quarter, Optimizely will launch in nine languages). In all, the company has raised $31 million to date.