Ezoic raises $33 million to optimize websites with AI

Ezoic, a Carlsbad, California-based startup developing an AI-driven platform for digital publishers, today announced that it has secured a $33 million investment led by growth capital firm Sageview Capital. The influx of funding brings the company’s total raised to nearly $40 million, following a $5.6 million series A round in November 2013, and CEO Dwayne Lafleur says it will bolster Ezoic’s research and development efforts.
“Despite accelerating advances in technology, digital publishers still rely on many legacy processes from print and early online web publishing. Ezoic gives publishers a way to capitalize on all the opportunities that exist with digital content,” said Lafleur, who claims that a typical publisher spends 50% of their time managing ads and website infrastructure. “Our platform has enabled thousands of web publishers to incorporate personalization and data science into their sites. The benefits of this approach are exponential and still untapped by many large brands and enterprises in the world of digital publishing.”
To this end, Ezoic’s eponymous platform streamlines tasks like experimenting with ad placements and improving technical SEO by extending access to premium ad networks and running performance-optimizing ad ops experiments. It provides detailed analytics on the impact of website speed with respect to things like revenue and visitor behavior, and within its bespoke free gallery of plugins Ezoic offers apps specifically designed to target website responsiveness.

Ezoic’s AI tools collect and process data like personalize layouts (across mobile and desktop platforms) and ad placements for visitors and improve SEO. One tool — ad tester — learns how visitors respond to ad density and various networks and makes adjustments to maximize earnings. Meanwhile, the company’s header bidding product hosts a server-side competitive bidding auction for on-site ad inventory.
Ezoic launched in 2011 with over 400 publishers, and it now counts thousands of websites and media brands collectively averaging over half a billion visitors a day among its customers. The company became one of the first Google Certified Publishing Partners in 2015, and it recently won Google’s Business Innovation Award from the Certified Publishing Partner team.
Ezoic’s plans start at $249 per month. Alternatively, publishers can opt for a free tier that places an ad at the bottom of their webpages after 30 days.
“The feedback from Ezoic customers we spoke to was overwhelmingly positive, highlighted by the tangible ROI and revenue uplift they were achieving by using the Ezoic platform,” said Sageview Capital partner Jeff Klemens, who plans to join the company’s board of directors. “Sageview provides growth capital to leading companies with a demonstrated track record of success and a compelling market opportunity.  Ezoic’s strong growth, innovative products, and ambitious roadmap make it a strong fit for our portfolio, and we look forward to providing Dwayne and the Ezoic team financial and operational support to accelerate the business.”
In addition to Carlsbad, Ezoic has offices in San Diego, San Francisco, London, and Newcastle.
Source: VentureBeat

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