Israeli startup SimilarWeb has made a name for itself with an AI-based platform that allows websites and apps to track and understand traffic not only on their own websites, but also on those of its competitors. Now it is taking the next step in its growth. The startup has raised $ 120 million and will provide funds to further expand its platform through both acquisitions and investments in its own research and development. The focus is on providing larger analytics services to larger businesses alongside the current base of individuals and businesses of all sizes doing business on the web.
Led by ION Crossover Partners and Viola Growth, the round doubles the total amount the startup has raised to date to $ 240 million. Or offer from SimilarWeb Founder and CEO said in an interview that this time around, it did not disclose its rating, other than to say that his company is now "playing in the big pool". It counts more than half of the Fortune 100 as customers, including Walmart, P&G, Adidas and Google.
In some cases, it hit a valuation of $ 800 million in its final stock round in 2017.
SimilarWeb's technology competes with other analytics and market intelligence providers, from Nielsen and ComScore to the apptopias of the world. At its most basic level, it provides users with a dashboard that provides insights into what users are doing on desktop and mobile. According to Offer, it differs in how it gets its information and what else it does in the process.
First of all, it's not just about how many people are visiting, but also about what triggers the activity – the “why”, so to speak – behind the activity. Offer uses a variety of AI technologies, such as machine learning algorithms and deep learning – like many Israeli technologies developed by people with deep expertise in the field – and offers data from a number of different sources to extrapolate their insights, according to SimilarWeb.
Declining to give many details about these sources, he said to me he cheered the arrival of privacy gates and cookie lists to help ferrets uncover and sometimes eradicate some of the more nefarious "analytics" services out there That SimilarWeb didn't do this was actually affected by this move to more privacy, as it isn't strictly an analytics service and doesn't sniff data on sights in the same way. It's also about expanding the data pool, he added:
"We're always thinking about what new signals we could use," he said. “Maybe they contain CDNs. But it's like Google with its search rankings. It is a never-ending story trying to achieve the highest accuracy in the world. "
The global health pandemic has sparked tremendous activity on the internet this year. Not only do people turn to websites and apps for leisure – something they need to do when they are around the house to make up for any usual activities that have been canceled – but also for business whether they are consumers who Use e-commerce services for shopping, or for employees who bring everything online and into the cloud so that they can continue working.
This has also spiked business for all of the various companies that turn the wheels on this machine, including SimilarWeb.
"Consumer behavior is changing dramatically and all businesses need better visibility," Offer said. "It started with toilet paper and hand sanitizer and then moved to desks and office chairs. Now it's not just e-commerce, it's everything. Think big banks whose business was 70% offline and now 70-80% online . Companies are building and going through a digital transformation. "
This, in turn, brings more people to understand how well their web presence is working, he said. The basic big question was, “What is my market share and how does that compare to my competition? Especially in times of change, everything revolves around digital visibility. "
As with many other companies, SimilarWeb experienced an initial decline in business, Offer said. To that end, the company has taken out debt under the Israeli paycheck protection program to help secure some jobs that have been on leave. But he added that most of the customers before the pandemic broke out are now back, along with customers from new categories that haven't been much active before, such as: B. automotive portals.
This change in customer makeup also opens up some opportunities for the company. The offer found that in recent months, many large companies that may have previously used SimilarWeb's technology indirectly through consulting have come directly to the company.
“We have launched a new advisory service where our own expert works with a large client who may have deeper and more complex questions about the behavior being observed. These are questions that all large companies are currently asking. “The service sounds like a partly educational effort in which companies that are not necessarily digital become more proactive and partly more advisory.
New customer segments and new priorities in the business world are two of the reasons for this round, according to investors.
"SimilarWeb has always been an incredible tool for any digital professional," said Gili Iohan of ION Crossover Partners in a statement. "However, the past few months have shown that traffic intelligence – the unparalleled data and digital insights that SimilarWeb offers – is critical to any business trying to win in the digital world."
Much like acquisitions, SimilarWeb made these historic to speed up its tech march. For example, in 2015 the company acquired Quettra to dig deeper into mobile analytics and Swayy for content discovery insights (key to ecommerce information). The offer wouldn't go into too much detail on what it identified as an additional target. Given that there are quite a number of companies developing technology in this space right now, consolidation around larger platforms might be appropriate to combine some of the features and functions. The offer said it was a “company with great data and digital intelligence with a good product. There are currently many options. "
The company will also be making some hires, with plans to add 200 more people worldwide by January (around 600 employees today).
"Since we joined the company three years ago, SimilarWeb has carried out a strategic transformation from a universal measurement platform to vertical solutions that has significantly expanded market opportunities and generated immense customer benefits," said Harel Beit-On, Founder and General Partner at Viola Growth, in a statement. "We believe that this round, with an excellent management team of seasoned executives, will enable the company to own the digital intelligence category and benefit from the acceleration of the digital age."