Google has made its third investment in Europe since launching its $US125 million (£79.4 million) venture capital fund here last year.
Google Ventures Europe and Japanese telecoms company Softbank have invested $US11.5 million (£7.3 million) into Yieldify, a two-year-old e-commerce startup that helps online retailers convince people to buy products online.
Yieldify’s CEO Jay Radia told Business Insider that Google’s endorsement was “huge,” saying: “The great thing about getting money from Google Ventures is you get access to a lot of great resources.
“The guy who merged Double Click with Google, he’s speaking to us now; the guy who created Google Maps, I’ve got access to him whenever I want. It’s having access to the best tech enthusiasts in the world — they’re just a few seconds away on Skype.”
Google’s only other investment in a company in Europe was in digital music services provider Kobalt in February. Google Ventures Europe also recently invested in the Oxford Science Innovation fund.
Yieldify’s software tracks user actions online and sends personalised offers in pop ups if they go to leave the site and in emails if they do leave. The idea is to get people to think again about buying something they decided not to purchase.
Radia says: “Imagine you’re on Marks & Spencer’s website and you’re looking at a shirt and for whatever reason, you’re not sure whether you want to buy it at the moment. Marks & Spencer might inform you, hey we’ve got other shirts that are on sale.”
“Right now, most visitors that land on a website don’t purchase anything. 80% of people that add items to their shopping basket, don’t make a purchase. We create software that really ensures that when a visitor comes to a website, they buy something.”
Radia, who worked at Bank of America and BNP Paribas before starting the company, said businesses that use Yieldify’s software see revenue increase by up to 15%, while conversion rates also improve. Yieldify works with around 800 businesses around the world, including Marks & Spencer, French Connection and Ben Sherman.
Yieldify is also growing fast — revenue grew by 480% between April 2013 and April 2014.
Google Ventures partner Avid Larizadeh Duggan, who led the investment, will join Yieldify’s board as part of the fundraising. Duggan has first hand experience of the difficulties of online retail — prior to joining Google’s VC arm she ran online jewellery business Boticca.
Larizadeh Duggan said in a statement: “Yieldify takes a novel approach to converting visitors into customers, enabling marketers to adapt and better understand online customer intent.”
Radia, who founded Yieldify with his brother Meelan, credited his early investors with connecting him to Google. Early “angel” investors include Robin Klein, a partner at influential venture capital firm Index Ventures, and Hoxton Venture’s Hussein Kanji.
Yieldify plans to put the cash it has raised towards hiring more staff and expanding across the US. The startup already has an office in New York, as well as sites in Berlin, Porto and Sydney.