SaaS-based web optimisation and marketing platform Zarget has raised $6 Mn in its Series A round of funding led by Sequoia India. Current investors Accel Partners and Matrix Partners also participated in the round.
The startup will use the proceeds to scale its marketing automation products and help small businesses easily optimise their web presence in real-time without requiring any coding skills.
Arvind Parthiban, co-founder & CEO, Zarget, stated, “Just a few years ago, I was a marketer facing the same challenges affecting marketers today – desperate to improve my campaigns in real-time, but without the tools, IT skills, or budget to make it happen efficiently. Our aim is to make it easy and affordable for any person or business to access the solutions they need to increase engagement and drive revenue across their websites.”
As luck would have it, the investors believed in their vision even though the startup was not actively looking to raise funds but rather focussing to get to a product-market-fit. But when Sequoia showed interest, Zarget, of course, was interested in having them on board to help them build multiple products in the space and provide all the optimisation tools on a single platform.
With the funds in place, the startup will firstly focus on building multiple products and secondly reaching global markets. Adds Arvind, “The investment will be used to build bigger modules in the same space to create holistic conversion rate optimisation software with modules such as mobile marketing automation and others.”
Counting 1K+ Clients And More
A major problem besetting marketers is trying to decide on the right combination of tool providers. Dozens of competing offerings exist; but the solutions are not integrated. This means companies are forced to use one provider for A/B testing and another for heatmaps.
This leaves data in multiple silos with no easy way to address online behaviour patterns – such as where drop offs are occurring. Additionally, it leads to security vulnerabilities, leading to billions of dollars in lost revenue and trillions of dollars in merchandise left in shopping carts each year.
Zarget offers all of the capabilities of competing solutions and more – including A/B testing, dynamic heatmaps, funnel analysis, form analytics, and user polls and feedback – but at 10% of the cost, and on a single platform. Additionally, businesses gain access to the industry’s first Chrome plugin that lets one make changes instantly from within the browser. This eliminates the kind of complexity and costs that are typically only available for large enterprise teams.
Starting as low as 50 cents per day, any small business owner or digital marketer can turn their website into a visualisation dashboard for marketing automation, optimisation and testing, and gather actionable insights needed to make critical improvements on the fly. With the new funds, Arvind and co-founders Naveen Venkat and Santosh Kumar plan to focus more on enterprise customers through these modules. In fact, there will be a separate edition for big and large enterprises. The startup has already set up a separate team for the biggest module which is the personalisation module. Zarget hopes to roll out these new modules in a time period of six to eight months.
Shailesh Lakhani, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital India Advisors, stated, “Zarget has an exceptionally talented team who’ve spent the past 10 years developing business automation software that’s already in use by leading enterprises today. Sequoia is excited to partner with a team with such proven capabilities and believe their marketing platform will become an essential fixture within the SMB market for many years to come.”
Sequoia’s enthusiasm in the team is not unwarranted. Arvind and his co-founders had spent almost 10 years at Zoho before they founded Zarget. That experience of having built a $100 Mn product in the past and Zoho’s brand value has helped Zarget a lot.
Adds Arvind, “This funding is more a validation of the team’s product building capability in the past. Having been with Zoho for 10 years and having worked with Girish Mathrubootham (CEO of Freshdesk) in his team helped us to grow a lot. When people came to know that Girish was going to invest in our seed round, we got a lot of offers from others as well. With this round, we are the only company in India to have Sequoia, Accel, and Matrix at Series A stage. And that’s only because of the Zoho brand value.”
The startup now claims to have more than 1,000 customer signups in 10 countries which includes brands like Landesk in the US, BizTalk360 in the UK, Freshdesk in India, and Buscape in Brazil. Revenue-wise, it is posting 200% month on month growth and has raised $7.5 Mn to date.
With its integrated platform, Zarget will be competing with individual product silos such as heatmap marketing leaders, A/B testing market leaders, personalisation market leaders like Optimizely, Wingify’s Visual Website Optimizer, Five Second Test, and Convert and many other players.
However with a billion-dollar market up for grabs, Arvind’s goal is clear. He explains, “We are not just competing for a single market. We are building an end-to-end platform with multiple products. It’s a huge market and how much market share we garner depends on how well we execute it.”