Israeli start-up company SimilarWeb, which monitors traffic on websites and apps, has announced that it has raised $25 million in a round led by South African media group Naspers and Lord David Alliance of the UK. Both have invested in SimilarWeb in the past. So far, the company has raised $65 million.
SimilarWeb says the money raised will be used to open new offices and for an acquisition strategy. SimilarWeb CEO and co-founder Or Offer said similar things earlier this month when SimilarWeb placed second in "Globes"' ranking of Israel's ten most promising start-ups.
"We are setting up a mergers and acquisitions team at the company and we will carry out at least one acquisition a year," Offer said, commenting on the fact that SimilarWeb had so far made two acquisitions of Israeli companies. "Israel is a Start-Up Nation, and just on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv there are 400-500 start-ups with relatively small teams, so there are plenty of opportunities"
At the same time, SimilarWeb announced the appointment of Jason Schwartz as the company's new CFO. Schwartz has an impressive record, having served in the past as CFO of Actimize, which was sold to NICE Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: NICE; TASE: NICE) for $287 million, of Cyota, which was sold to RSA for $145 million, and of Shopping.com, which was floated on Nasdaq and subsequently acquired by eBay. In his most recent post, Schwartz was CFO of software company Clarizen.
The appointment of a CFO to a start-up tends to hint that the ground is being prepared for an IPO. Talking to "Globes" on the occasion of SimilarWeb's selection among the "Globes" most promising start-ups of 2015, Or Offer said that his company would make an IPO by 2017. This projection should be treated with caution, since the last time that the company completed a fund-raising round, in February 2014, Offer also talked about an IPO, and gave 2016 as the target year.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 26, 2015
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