“Magic in a Can:” Why we invested in Optimizely

Today Optimizely announced their Series A funding round of $28 million led by new investors Benchmark and Bain Capital Ventures along with several other existing seed investors. We are thrilled to be partnering with the Optimizely founders, Dan and Pete, as well as the entire Optimizely team.

We’ve discussed in the past here and here the rise of Marketing as the next great function in enterprise technology. Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are leveraging big data to drive marketing insights, campaigns, programs, and personalization that have never before been possible. A new wave of startups is giving incredible power to these CMOs, allowing them to optimize their programs without having to deal with the bottlenecks of corporate IT. Optimizely is clearly leading this trend.

With the Optimizely solution, CMOs and their marketing teams can now set up UX experiments and A/B tests on their websites in a matter of minutes, without any IT involvement. As we spoke to users of Optimizely, we heard the same refrain over and over: “thanks to Optimizely, we are running 10x the number of experiments – this has led to new levels of iteration which in turn has driven more traffic, higher conversion, and increased revenue”.

Over the past few months, we have seen the Optimizely team in action in front of multiple CMOs of large multi-billion dollar ecommerce companies. It’s been incredible to see the reaction of these CMOs as Dan and Travis have, in a matter of a few clicks, moved around images, text, headlines, fonts, and buttons on the retailers’ site. One CMO sat back after the demo and said, “Wow- this is magic in a can! We have to use this solution”.

The power of Optimizely has led to an extremely high velocity business. Prospective users can try the solution simply by going to http://www.optimizely.com (I’d encourage anyone reading this post to try it out for your own website!) The implementation effort requires only the addition of one line of JavaScript to your web page. And while the solution is extremely powerful, the cost is dramatically lower than many other competitive solutions which have the hallmarks of classic heavyweight enterprise software: long sales cycles, long implementation cycles, and heavy professional services.

Because of this velocity, Dan and Pete have built a double-digit revenue business growing at exponential rates without raising equity capital before today. This is an incredible achievement!

Most importantly, Dan and Pete have managed this extraordinary growth without sacrificing their commitment to their users and their commitment to a strong culture and team at Optimizely. When we visited the Optimizely headquarters and watched the team in action, it was clear they have the ingredients and DNA of a “built to last” company. This is a real testament to the leadership and vision of the founders.

We are proud to welcome Optimizely to our family of CMO oriented companies alongside Bloomreach, Captora, Cquotient, Hooklogic, Infoscout, Persado, Sneakpeeq, Survey Monkey, and Tellapart.


Categories: MarTech, SaaS


  1. Ajay – thanks for the write-up – we’re over the moon to be working with you and the Bain team! Looking forward to showing more CMOs the “magic in a can”.

  2. Congrats, Ajay! I look forward to meeting (and learning from) Dan and Pete at a future BCV event!

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