Conductor, a search engine optimization technology business, has secured $20 million in Series C financing led by Investor Growth Capital. Existing investors FirstMark Capital and Matrix Partners also participated in the round.
Conductor, the leader in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) technology, today announced that it has secured $20 million in Series C financing led by Investor Growth Capital, marking the largest investment to date in natural search technology. Existing investors FirstMark Capital and Matrix Partners also participated in the round, reaffirming their belief in Conductor’s technology, market-leading vision and world-class customer success teams. The company will use the funding to scale operations internationally and invest in product development of Conductor Searchlight™, the first and most widely adopted, cloud-based SEO platform. The world’s biggest brands will continue to benefit from the best technology solution available to optimize natural search, acquire customers and convert online searches into dollars.
Driving more than half of all traffic across the Web, natural search is the most important source of inbound marketing. It converts visitors at a higher rate than any other source — outperforming paid search 2:1 and social media by as much as four times. CMOs have recognized the importance of natural search and have responded accordingly, hiring more SEO professionals than any other time in history. There are more than half a million people in the world with SEO in their job description on LinkedIn, a figure that doubled from a year ago. Yet, many organizations fail to realize the full potential natural search provides because marketers are paralyzed by the rapidly changing search landscape, causing them not to set goals or instrument their SEO initiatives properly. With Conductor Searchlight, marketers can measure the return on investment of their SEO efforts, drive executive visibility and buy-in for natural search programs, and create a predictable model for natural search revenue growth. Conductor customers, including companies like FedEx, BestBuy, Siemens and General Electric (GE), report up to six times more traffic and 15 times more conversions from natural search.
“Conductor created the SEO technology market and has become the industry’s benchmark for excellence,” said Noah Walley, Managing Director at Investor Growth Capital. “The Searchlight platform is a staple inside many of the world’s most revered brands. The company’s superior technology offering and demonstrated market demand embody what we look for in our portfolio companies as they move from an early stage company into the expansion stage, ready to scale operations and enter new markets.”
Conductor Searchlight has quickly risen to be the industry standard for enterprise SEO. The top four big agency holding companies, more than half of the top 20 Internet Retailers and more than 100 of the Fortune 500 use Conductor Searchlight to measure search market share, protect search revenue, and leverage cutting-edge technology to grow their businesses. As a result, Conductor has experienced 300 percent revenue growth year-over-year and is on pace to do so again in 2012.
“Showing up in search engine results is more important than ever before — with Google making changes every day, it’s getting harder for companies to stay at the top of the search results,” said Seth Besmertnik, CEO of Conductor. “Marketers want to ensure page-one results, while also being able to run their SEO programs with the same level of accountability and predictability as paid search. Conductor Searchlight has risen to the occasion, becoming the must-have technology for businesses that rely on the Internet to acquire customers.”
Regarding the financing, Besmertnik added: “Investor Growth Capital is a well-regarded and successful expansion stage firm. We chose them because we believe they understand and share our vision for the market and because their deep global network and patient, evergreen capital structure will be instrumental in helping us achieve our strategic growth plan. The funding will enable us to maintain our market dominance and continue to deliver the most advanced features and functionality available to digital marketers and the agencies that support them.”
First introduced to market in June 2010, Conductor Searchlight has transformed SEO by giving marketers and brand owners a level of clarity and accountability into their search programs never seen before. Conductor Searchlight’s highly responsive and scalable technology infrastructure is equipped to handle Big Data processing requirements on the backend, while delivering real-time business intelligence on the frontend for better, more informed decision making that improves search rankings, drives traffic and boosts revenue.
Gartner analyst Laura McLellan predicts CMO spending will pass CIO spending on technology within five years.
Forrester Research forecasts the SEO technology market to exceed $600 million by 2016 in the United States alone according to the research report, “US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2011 to 2016,” Aug. 24, 2011 by Shar VanBoskirk
The findings of a joint report by Conductor and Search Engine Watch found that search’s influence in the organization is increasing at such a rate that a quarter of all organizations surveyed have a dedicated search department. 60 percent of organizations expect to increase SEO headcount in 2013, and 63 percent of executive leadership teams are more familiar with SEO metrics than a year ago.
According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing 2012 report, SEO outperforms paid search 2:1 and social media by as much as four times.
Conductor has experienced year-over-year revenue growth of more than 300 percent and is on pace to do so again in 2012. To meet the growing demand for its products and services, Conductor has doubled headcount this year.
The top four big agency holding companies use Conductor Searchlight, as well as more than half of the top 20 Internet Retailers and more than 100 of the Fortune 500.
Corporate accolades include the Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest-growing companies; one of the top three companies to work for in New York City according to Crain’s New York Business Best Places to Work annual ranking; and a FORTUNE Great Place to Work(R) 2012 Best Small and Medium Workplaces top 25.
More than 300 marketers attended Conductor’s annual user conference, C3 in New York City — tripling the attendance size from the inaugural event in 2011.
Conductor is the global leader in SEO technology. Thousands of brands and enterprise marketers use its cloud-based SEO platform, Conductor Searchlight™ to measure, improve and manage their natural search efforts to stay ahead of the competition, increase site traffic and boost revenues. The powerful, highly scalable platform gathers and processes massive amounts of data quickly to give users real-time information for better, more informed decision making and to identify new ways to increase share-of-search that will propel their businesses forward. Offering the most robust performance reporting and measurement solutions available in the industry, Conductor arms marketers with the intelligence needed to tie SEO success to business objectives and demonstrate the value of SEO across the organization. One of New York City’s fastest growing and most admired technology companies, Conductor is routinely recognized for excellence in business and corporate culture. To learn more, go to www.conductor.com or follow Conductor on Twitter @conductor.
About Investor Growth Capital
Investor Growth Capital (“IGC”) is a global venture capital firm backed by Investor AB (the largest industrial holding company in Northern Europe with over $20 billion in assets), and has offices in New York, Menlo Park, Beijing, and Stockholm. Since its formation in the mid‐1990’s, IGC has focused on partnering with exceptional, expansion‐stage companies in the technology and healthcare industries. Today, IGC manages an evergreen fund with more than 100 portfolio companies worldwide and assets exceeding $1.5 billion. More at www.investorgrowthcapital.com
April H. Burghardt