New York’s ICG leads $20m round for SEO platform Conductor


New York-based venture capital firm Investor Growth Capital (ICG) has led a $20m Series C financing round for Conductor, a company that has created a cloud-based SEO platform used by customers including FedEx, BestBuy, Siemens and General Electric.

Conductor will use the funding to scale operations internationally and invest in product development of Conductor Searchlight, the first and most widely adopted cloud-based SEO platform.

Existing investors FirstMark Capital and Matrix Partners also participated in the round, which marks the largest investment to date in natural search technology, ICG said.

Natural search drives more than half of all traffic across the internet and is the most important source of inbound marketing, converting visitors at a higher rate than any other source — outperforming paid search 2:1 and social media by as much as four times, ICG said.

Conductor Searchlight enables marketers to measure the return on investment of their SEO efforts, drive executive visibility and buy-in for natural search programmes, and create a predictable model for natural search revenue growth.

ICG said customers report up to six times more traffic and 15 times more conversions from natural search, adding that the top-four big agency holding companies, more than half of the top 20 internet retailers and more than 100 of the Fortune 500 use Conductor Searchlight.

The company has experienced 300 per cent revenue growth year-over-year and is on pace to do so again in 2012, the firm added.

“Showing up in search engine results is more important than ever before — with Google making changes every day, it’s getting harder for companies to stay at the top of the search results,” said Seth Besmertnik, CEO of Conductor, pictured.

“Marketers want to ensure page-one results, while also being able to run their SEO programs with the same level of accountability and predictability as paid search.

“Conductor Searchlight has risen to the occasion, becoming the must-have technology for businesses that rely on the Internet to acquire customers.”

The deal follows ICG’s recent investment in digital interviewing platform HireVue, which closed $22m in funding in August that included a $17m Series C equity round led by the firm.

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