ContentSquare, specialising in user experience analysis and optimisation, recently received USD$42 m (£30m) in its second round of financing. RetailTechNews talks to Jonathan Cherki (pictured below), founder and CEO, ContentSquare, about ContentSquare’s further plans and how the new capital will be invested.
RetailTechNews: Why did ContentSquare time the second round of funding now?
Jonathan Cherki: Between 2012 to 2016, ContentSquare grew organically from one person to one hundred people, and from one customer to one hundred customers. In 2016, £16m ($20m) was raised to aid the growth in Europe and the US.
We are raising the second round of funding now for two reasons: Timing and growth of the company. During the last five years, the market has been focusing in acquisition – Google with search and Salesforce with CRM. Amazon has now dominated the market so the only way for brands to survive in the digital jungle is to have the best digital experiences. Now is the time for the entire team from ecommerce to content to UX, to be embracing digital experience optimisation.
In terms of growth, we have a great product and are in an ideal condition of growth, which is why we have secured the investment now. Our goal is not just to create a good company, but become a worldwide leader of our category. Over the past year, we saw 130% growth so we have the ability to scale our global infrastructure based on a very strong product.
What are your global plans with the funding?
The plan is to lead the digital experience revolution and become the worldwide leader of digital experience insights. Retailers are facing the challenge of investing a significant amount in acquisition of traffic, but this traffic is not reflected in conversions. The challenge with mobile is even harder because traffic on mobile is increasing, but conversions are not. Our software helps businesses increase conversion rates by improving the efficiency of every person in the digital team, from content managers to eCommerce directors, from head of acquisition to User Experience director. It’s not just about transforming what you do digitally, it’s about transforming people and the way we work which is why we will be focusing on three main areas:
1. R&D: Artificial intelligence will continue to be the focus of our development, as it is at the core of our product, helping brands understand their customers’ digital journeys. Today we have 70 developers and we plan to invest in this team and bring on more developers, data scientists, and talents that will work together to develop and improve our solution.
2. Growth in America: The opportunity to expand in America is now. The timing is right and we will grow our team of 30 people, currently working with Walmart, Tiffany’s, HP and more, to a bigger team prepared to build the success of our future customers.
3. International expansion: Worldwide, brands are dealing with their digital transformation. It is no longer an option in order to survive and we are positioned to make this transformation a success. We recently opened an office in Germany in addition to our offices in France and UK, and we will invest in new offices around Europe and Asia to expand our operations.
What is the company’s mission this year?
Other than developing our new AI product, Auto-Zone and growing our offices in Europe, we want to cement our vision within the market. ContentSquare’s mission is to become a strong leader in the analytics market. Our vision is not to be a tool, but to change the way in which people work. The best way to improve a company is to improve its people, so if everyone can measure the impact of their actions and their own contribution to the revenue of the company, we can help organisations empower their teams and change the way we work. Our technology fulfils that goal: to empower everyone.
Will the funding change the company?
As a company, we have very strong values and believe that even you have the right product and the right timing, you will fail without the right values in place. Everything we have worked on until this point has been to ensure ContentSquare is in a good place for growth. I don’t think it will be a big change for the team but we hope it will be a big step change for the market in changing their mindset to optimise their teams and get insights faster.
How is ContentSquare disrupting the eCommerce market?
We’re helping retailers compete in an increasingly digital world where customer experience should be a high priority. In 2017, 44% of eCommerce sales came from Amazon. Retailers are well aware that if they don’t offer amazing and intuitive digital experiences to their customer very soon they will not be able to compete with their competitors. The timing is now to help retailers master their digital transformation and grow their success. It’s time for them to really understand the impact of each action, to be able to quickly and easily measure the effect of every digital asset, with technologies such as artificial intelligence prioritising insights to empower digital teams to become a stronger part of the organisation.