Contentsquare, a software-as-a-service customer experience analytics platform, today announced that it raised $500 million in a series E funding round led by Softbank Vision Fund 2. The round, which follows the company’s $190 million series D in May 2020, brings the company’s current valuation to $2.8 billion.
Customer experience improvements — and ways to measure them — have gained currency as their value proposition becomes more apparent. The Temkin Group found that companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $775 million within 3 years of investing in customer experience. And 86% of buyers say they’re willing to pay more for a great customer experience, according to research from PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Contentsquare’s technology attempts to capture the impact of digital experiences by recording every in-webpage user interaction and “micro-gesture.” It turns this analysis into scores and recommendations aimed at helping inform a company’s decisions regarding content, flow, and overall brand strategy. Contentsquare automatically locates issues and opportunities derived from behavioral, performance, content, product, and pricing data. And it alerts stakeholders to off-trend KPIs and anomalies as they occur.
Contentsquare was founded by Jonathan Cherki, who, while studying at the ESSEC business school in Paris, became intrigued by the gap between the experiences brands thought they were offering and what consumers were actually getting. As a college assignment, Cherki started to develop an app to measure digital performance, and in 2012, he used it as a springboard to launch Contentsquare.
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“When we first started the company our focus was on improving acquisition, but in the last nine years, with acquisition costs rising, we’ve seen digital experience take center stage and become the key differentiator for brands,” Cherki told VentureBeat via email. “And today brands need technology to understand how customers are engaging with them online and where they are losing people on websites and apps. Contentsquare really came out of this need to understand user behavior in order to improve digital customer experiences.”
The Contentsquare platform discovers areas for improving revenue and experience, aligning its recommendations with performance and business goals. The company’s dashboard provides views of key metrics and session replays, which reconstruct the steps individual visitors took on Contentsquare-tracked websites. Using Contentsquare, customers can optimize visitor interactions with forms on sites and identify friction points. They can also leverage APIs to integrate Contentsquare with web apps and other systems, like personalization engines.
“With trillions of digital interactions analyzed daily we have an incredibly comprehensive benchmark of customer behaviors across key industries globally,” Cherki continued. “Our analysis of digital behaviors in 2020, for example, revealed a +16% increase in mobile traffic, and that two thirds of all digital traffic today is on smartphone. We also have data on pageviews, bounce rates, acquisition, and other engagement metrics along the digital customer journey.”
The digital customer experience market’s expansion has no doubt been a factor in Contentsquare’s success. In a recent survey, 87% of customer experience, marketing, and analytics professionals said that customer experience is important to brands. And a Walker study found that at the end of 2020, customer experience overtook price and product as the key brand differentiator.
A number of companies compete with Contentsquare in the digital experience space, including Quantum Metric, a platform that helps companies improve their websites and apps by gleaning continuous real-time feedback from end users. Atlanta, Georgia-based FullStory develops a code analytics suite for digital customer experiences. Airkit and Glassbox design automated solutions to optimize web and mobile apps. And Adobe recently unfurled an enhanced Adobe Customer Journey Analytics cloud service that enables organizations to apply AI to data from both online and offline sources to gain deeper insights into customer behavior.
But in spite of the competition, Contentsquare has grown to a workforce of over 700 and acquired companies such as Clicktale and Pricing Assistant. It claims to be the largest dedicated experience analytics platform startup in the world, with a customer base spanning 750 brands such as Disney, Dell, Sephora, The North Face, Rakuten, Microsoft, BMW, Ikea, Verizon, and Gucci.
“As we continue to grow in our existing markets and expand into new regions, it is important for all of us to maintain our unique company culture and values,” Cherki said. “In an increasingly digital world, we remain committed to enabling better digital experiences for all.”
Contentsquare says it’ll recruit 1,500 employees over the next three years with the funding, including “hundreds” of positions in product and R&D. To date, the company has raised $810 million from investors like BlackRock, Canaan Partners, Highland Europe, and Eurazeo.
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