Silicon Valley experimentation startup Optimizely has announced its local expansion, opening a Sydney office from which it will look to grow into the Asia-Pacific region. The APAC base will be led by Dan Ross, appointed managing director of Australia and New Zealand.
Founded in 2010 by Pete Koomen and Dan Siroker, director of analytics for Obama’s first Presidential campaign, Optimizely allows businesses to run experiments across all their online platforms to determine how to best engage their users.
Its OTT product, for example, allows clients to run experiments on their Android or tvOS apps, testing features such as navigation, app layout, site design, and featured content.
The company has raised US$146 million in funding since its launch from investors including Index Ventures, Benchmark Capital, and Andreessen Horowitz.
Ross, formerly the company’s customer and sales operations head in San Francisco, said Optimizely was drawn to Australia thanks to strong organic growth in the region, with clients including Atlassian, Optus, and AGL on board.
“This new home brings us much closer to our growing customer base where we already have strong relationships with businesses in the retail, media and travel sectors,” he said.
“We are also seeing considerable uptake by businesses in industries with more traditional business models such as, utilities, superannuation, health insurance and telecommunications. These industries are under threat by increased competition from new and more agile players, which is why they’re turning to Optimizely in order to innovate at speed.”
The company’s local launch comes, Ross said, as Australian businesses gear up for the expansion of Amazon into the market.
“With these players entering the market, businesses are coming to us asking how they can compete, because the thing most good disrupters do isn’t just technology, it’s the way they think about their business,” he explained.
“That’s an ever-evolving, iterative process, and some legacy companies tend to struggle with that, and we think we can help them.”
The launch follows the departure of Siroker as the company’s CEO in June, with Siroker moving to the position of executive chairman, remaining involved day to day in product, and Jay Larson taking over as CEO.
Having grown the startup to US$90 million in annual recurring revenue, Siroker wrote in a blog post that Optimizely “would benefit greatly from having a leader at the company who had decades of enterprise software experience and has helped build several multi-billion software companies”.
Image: Dan Ross. Source: Supplied.