Intellimize raises $30M to optimize websites with AI

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Intellimize, a startup aiming to help marketers drive conversions by personalizing websites, today announced that it raised $30 million in series B funding led by Cobalt Capital, with participation from Addition, Amplify Partners, Homebrew, and Precursor Ventures. CEO Guy Yalif says that the proceeds, which bring the company’s total raised to over $50 million, will be put toward expanding Intellimize’s engineering and customer-facing teams.

Personalization is increasingly key to boosting business revenue. Seventy-four percent of customers feel frustrated when website content isn’t personalized, one recent survey found. According to McKinsey, enterprises that have successfully embraced personalization have found proven ways to drive 5% to 15% increases in revenue and 10% to 30% increases in marketing-spend efficiency, predominantly by deploying triggered recommendations and communications.

Yalif is the former head of vertical marketing at Twitter and held executive positions at Microsoft, Boston Consulting Group, and Yahoo. He launched Intellimize with Brian Webb and Jin Lim in 2016. At Yahoo, Yalif worked with both Yahoo VP of engineering — Lim — and Webb, who was an architect on Yahoo’s personalized content recommendation team.

“[Over the past year,] we’ve been busy helping marketers create high converting websites by combining their ideas with our machine learning,” Yalif told VentureBeat via email. “We’ve become especially popular with business-to-business brands along with ecommerce. For example, we helped Snowflake generate 49% more leads with their website, while Sumo Logic accelerated decades of traditional testing and optimized across more than 1 billion versions of their site.”

AI-driven personalization

Intellimize leverages AI to generate webpages for visitors in real time. It enables customers to optimize for one or multiple goals simultaneously and tap third-party machine learning services for further customization, Yalif says, making adjustments in response to user behaviors.

“One-size-fits-all websites are the biggest squandered opportunity in all of marketing for all industries … Intelligent website optimization is essential tech to the modern marketing stack, and our investors share this sentiment,” he added.

Marketers begin by creating experiences for prospects. Intellimize’s AI then runs combinations of experiences and learns what converts, drawing on data including location, device type, time of day, day of the week, and traffic source. Finally, as a part of the last step, the platform delivers the best-performing experience to customers.

With Intellimize, San Mateo, California-based Looker says it drove five times return on investment by nudging prospective customers to content, demo requests, and other web forms.

“Our goal is to help more marketers deliver more revenue, more customers, and more leads to sales,” Yalif continued. “We will help more conversion-obsessed marketers dynamically adjust their websites to each unique visitor’s changing behavior over time.”

The AI-driven personalization market has grown substantially in recent years. In June 2019, Amazon launched Personalize, a service that supports the development of websites, mobile apps, and content management and email marketing systems that suggest products and provide tailored search results. More recently, Google added AI-powered app personalization to app development platform Firebase. And on the startup side, Evolv Technologies, Optimizely (which was acquired by Episerver last year), and others have raised millions of dollars to automate A/B web testing with AI algorithms.

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