Botify raised a $55 million Series C funding round led by InfraVia Growth with participation from Bpifrance’s Large Venture fund. The company created a search engine optimization (SEO) platform to get your content indexed better and appearing more often in search results.
Existing investors Eurazeo and Ventech are also investing again in the startup. Nicolas Herschtel from InfraVia and Antoine Izsak from Bpifrance will join the board of directors. The valuation has tripled since the company’s previous funding round.
Although there are a ton of good and bad practices in the SEO industry, Botify defines itself as a “white hat company”. They abide by search engine terms of service, they don’t scavenge search results for information, they don’t build shady backlinks to other websites.
“We will optimize every step of the search funnel, first the quality of the website, how it is designed, how the content is going to be enriched, etc.” co-founder and CEO Adrien Menard told me.
There are now three different components in the Botify product suite. The startup first released an analytics tool that gives you insight into your website. Basically, it lets you see how a crawler crawls your site.
The company then released Botify Intelligence, which gives you a list of priority tasks 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 crawler queries your site, Botify can take over and respond directly to requests.
“We’re not trying to trick Google’s algorithm. We define Botify as the interface between search engines and our customers’ websites. Search engines will access higher quality content. And it’s probably cheaper than with a normal process,” Menard said.
Companies do not necessarily use all three tools. They can start with the analysis and go from there. “You can use different products depending on the size of the business,” Menard said.
Over the past few years, Google has increased the number of ad slots in search results. It also promotes its own services, such as YouTube and Google Maps, before you can see organic search results. I asked Menard if this might be a concern for the future of Botify.
“I agree with you that we are seeing more and more sections of search results coming from proprietary or paid results,” he said. “But the traffic generated by organic results is growing. It represents 30% of the traffic of our clients’ sites and this average is not decreasing.
According to him, research is becoming more and more important. When you invest in search, you can see a clear return on investment when it comes to online sales, traffic, and more.
Currently, 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 wants to improve its automation capabilities, sign partnerships with more technology companies, and expand its presence with new offices in the Asia-Pacific region.