Deals

Baynote raises $13M to generate more relevant links with an ever-watchful eye

Baynote, a provider of software for websites that helps generate more relevant links and search engine results for readers, announced today that it has raised $13 million in its second round of fundraising led by SingTel Innov8.

The actual service starts with a tag that website developers can slap onto the footer of their sites. It tracks what other sites its users visit, what other types of articles they view, and what other products they consider buying. The information is shipped off to remote servers on Baynote’s side that, after a little bit of data crunching, spit out a list of relevant topics and links for each page.

“Every user is being silently watched, and we end up creating peer groups across sites,” said Jack Jia, founder and chairman of Baynote. “And then you are basically guided by those like-minded peer groups to get some better links and results.”

Developers can then add rails to their sites that include relevant pages and products for each incoming web surfer based on these “peer-based recommendations.” The service can also reorganize search engine results for the same purpose, tailoring search results for individual readers.

The service also provides developers with an analytics suite that helps determine which links and tools worked and which ones didn’t. It can also deliver customized landing pages — the page a visitor first sees when they visit websites like Dell.com — based on what kind of site or search result the reader came from. That means the landing page for a site like Dell.com would be different if the reader searched for “gaming laptops” rather than “dell computers,” and would tailor to that search.

On top of the funding, Baynote has snagged former SAP executive vice president Doug Merritt as the company’s new chief executive. The company’s revenue has grown between 70 and 120 percent each year since it was founded in 2005, and grew 75 percent last year. The funding is going to be used for typical growth strategies like developing new tools for web developers and expanding the company’s sales force, Jia said.

Existing investors Hummer Winblad, Steamboat Ventures and JK&B Capital also participated in the round, bringing Baynote’s total funding up to $28 million. The San Jose, Calif.-based company has 80 employees.


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