SimilarGroup, which recently launched its web measurement tool SimilarWeb, has closed $2.5 million in new funding, "TechCrunch" reports. The financing round was led by former Microsoft’s Israel R&D Center president Moshe Lichtman, and as a part of the funding, Lichtman is joining the company’s board. "TechCrunch" observes that SimilarGroup is out to compete with stronger rival Alexa.
Tel Aviv-based SimilarGroup's other investors include high-tech guru Yossi Vardi, private equity firm Naftali Investments, and Docor International B.V. Including the latest funding, SimilarGroup has raised $3.5 million.
Founded in 2009, the company was initially known for its branded browser plugins which offer users suggestions of similar sites to those they are surfing and other useful information like web rankings, traffic reach and traffic sources. These plugins and others help power the algorithms behind the newly launched SimilarWeb web measurement tool.
To take on Alexa, "TechCrunch" reports, SimilarGroup has many consumer-facing plugins which range from social plugins to games and more. End users of these plugins may not be aware that they’re helping contribute data to SimilarWeb’s rankings, because they’re not branded.
The company’s plugins have been downloaded tens of millions of times, and its online portal SimilarSites.com, today sees over 10 million visitors per month. SimilarGroup hopes to offer better and more accurate insights than Alexa.
SimilarGroup CEO Or Offer said Alexa as a brand just isn’t trusted anymore and the toolbar is used by marketing people, not normal users. He said, “And the website looks bad, with a lot of ads. We’ve worked very hard in this past year and a half to build SimilarWeb…We hope to be the next Alexa."
Offer also talks of the quality of SimilarGroup’s 25-person team, and told "TechCrunch" the company has Ph.D.’s on staff with backgrounds in machine learning, big data, and statistics, for example. He said, “We’re a very savvy technology compan. We have a huge server farm with more than 100 servers…every month, we analyze more than one billion pages around the web.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 30, 2013
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