Botify has raised a $55 million Series C funding round led by Infravia Growth, with Bpifrance’s Large Venture Fund also participating. The company has built a search engine optimization (SEO) platform so that your content is better indexed and appears more often in search results.
Existing investors Eurazio and Ventec are also investing in the startup once again. Nicolas Hershtel from Infravia and Antoine Isaacs from BepiFrance will join the board of directors. The valuation has tripled since the company’s last funding round.
While there are a ton of good and bad practices in the SEO industry, Botify defines itself as a “white-hat company.” They respect the search engine’s terms of service, they don’t scour search results for insights, they don’t create shady backlinks to other websites.
“We’re going to optimize every step of the search funnel first from the quality of the website, how it’s designed, how the content is going to be enriched, etc.” Co-founder and CEO Adrian Maynard told me.
There are now three separate components in the Botify product suite. The startup first released an analytics tool that gives you information about your website. Basically, it lets you see how crawlers analyze your site.
The company then released Botify Intelligence, which gives you a prioritized list of things you can do to improve your SEO strategy. And now, the company is also working on automation with Botify Activation. When Google’s search engine bot queries your site, Botify can respond to requests directly.
“We are not trying to trick Google’s algorithms. We are defining Botify as the interface between search engines and our customers’ websites. Search engines are going to reach high-quality content. And it’s probably cheaper than the normal procedure,” Maynard said.
Companies do not necessarily use all three tools. They can start with analytics and take it from there. “You can use different products depending on the size of the company,” Maynard said.
Over the years, Google has increased the number of ad slots on search results. It also promotes its own services like YouTube and Google Maps before you can see organic search results. I asked Maynard if this could be a concern for Botify’s future.
“I agree with you that we are seeing more and more sections of search results coming from first-party or paid results,” he said. “But the traffic generated from organic results is increasing. It represents 30% of the traffic to our customers’ websites and this average is not decreasing.”
According to him, the search is getting bigger. When you invest in search, you can see a clear return on investment when it comes to online sales, traffic, etc.
Right now, Botify has 500 customers, such as Expedia, L’Oréal, The New York Times, Groupon, Marriott, Condé Nast, Crate & Barrel, Fnac Darty, Vestiaire Collective and Farfetch.
With today’s funding round, the company is looking to improve its automation capabilities, sign partnerships with more tech companies, and grow its footprint with new offices in the Asia-Pacific region.