Optimizely Raises $57 Million to Enable the World to Turn Data into Action

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TL;DR

  • Raised $57 million in Series B led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation by Benchmark Capital and Bain Capital Ventures.
  • Triple digit year-over-year growth in annual revenue since launching in 2010.
  • Team is 175 people with plans to grow to over 250 by the end of the year. Our team works hard and plays hard.
  • We are the #1 most adopted website optimization platform with over 7,000 customers that:
    • Created more than a half million experiments.
    • Optimized over 7 billion web experiences.
    • Are located in 101 countries.
  • Two weeks ago at our first customer conference, Opticon, over 650 attendees joined us for our launch of Optimizely for iOS, Optiverse, and our Developer Platform.
  • We’re just getting started. Come join us.

Last Year

A little over a year ago, I announced we had raised $28 million to go global. I called it a big day for Optimizely, and it certainly was. We got great press, lots of inbound leads, and saw a significant increase in job applicants. As exciting as that was, it wasn’t why I thought it was a big day. As I said then: having a ton more money in the bank is great, but our primary goal is to find the best partner.

We did that. Peter Fenton from Benchmark Capital joined our board and has been an instrumental partner in building our business. In just one short year, I have learned so much from Peter. In hindsight, I would have let him invest any amount at any valuation just to work with him. What makes Peter special is his ability to make me and my co-founder, Pete Koomen, better. He has an incredibly high IQ as well as a high EQ; he is able to ask exactly the right questions in the right way to both help me focus on the right things AND make me feel great about doing it. Having a partner like Peter makes my job a joy.

Over the last year we’ve grown tremendously. We are now the #1 most-adopted website optimization platform in the world. Here is a graph showing the adoption of website optimization platforms among the Alexa top 10,000 websites according to builtwith.com:

BuiltWith graph

Not only are we the most-adopted platform but our annual revenue has had triple digit year-over-year growth since launching in 2010. Our team has grown to 175 people and we have plans to expand to over 250 people by the end of the year. We have over 7,000 customers located in 101 countries around the world. As I said we would last year: we’ve gone global.

Looking Ahead

As proud as I am of the growth we’ve had to date, I’m even more excited about the road ahead.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know what I don’t know. I didn’t anticipate the challenges we faced at 50, 100, and 150 employees and I’m sure I won’t be able to anticipate the challenges ahead. Our culture will have to adapt and scale as the company grows. Many companies fail at this stage because they grow recklessly without being thoughtful about culture, organizational design, and alignment around a focused set of goals. That is why we need a partner who has been there, done that. Someone who has scaled a company and its culture first hand. That person is Scott Weiss.

Scott was the founder and CEO of IronPort Systems, a company that our VP of Engineering, Gabe Mahoney, and our VP of Customer Success, Eddie Nguyen both worked for. A few months ago, I had dinner with Gabe and Eddie and they both raved about how great a company IronPort was and how Scott was the best CEO they ever worked for. As their current CEO I didn’t take it personally and decided I had to meet this guy.

When I met Scott I was immediately impressed. I asked him the three unconventional questions I ask every job candidate and he knocked them out of the park. His focus on culture and its role in building a great, enduring company really resonated with me. Today, we’ve built the #1 best place to work according to the San Francisco Business Times. But that isn’t good enough. I want Optimizely to be around in 100 years and in order to do that, we have to build the right culture.

So, today, as we celebrate seven billion web experiences optimized through Optimizely, I am excited to announce that we have closed $57 million in Series B funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. Pete Koomen, Peter Fenton, and I are thrilled to welcome General Partner Scott Weiss to join us on our board of directors.

Our Vision

Our vision is to enable the world to turn data into action. This vision emerged from the reason we started the company: we started Optimizely to build the product I wish we had on the Obama 2008 campaign to make it easy for anyone to do A/B testing. We’ve done that. In 2012 we had both the Obama campaign and the Romney campaign use our product extensively.

With 7,000 customers we are now the #1 most-adopted website optimization platform in the world. But that’s just the beginning. Two weeks ago at our first customer conference, Opticon, over 650 attendees joined us for our launch of Optimizely for iOS, Optimizely.org, Optiverse, and our Developer Platform. These are just our first steps toward our vision of enabling the world to turn data into action. We’ve got a long journey ahead of us and we’re just getting started. If you want to help make our vision a reality, come join us.

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