Contentsquare just raised a $500 million Series E round led by SoftBank.
The French Tech Ecosystem Is Booming
Wow! This is the biggest venture round ever and the biggest total funding ever for a French startup, now valuated at $2.8 billion. There are now about 15 French unicorns and counting. In a previous blog, I mentioned that the French tech ecosystem was booming, but that French entrepreneurs had to be bolder — to take more risks and shoot for global leadership. Led by Jonathan Cherki and his team, the company no doubt has bold ambitions. The second red flag I raised is the fact that French and European startups still depend too often on US investors or end up being acquired by US firms. While led by SoftBank (Asian investors), Contentsquare also has US (BlackRock, KKR, etc.) and European investors (BPI, Eurazeo) on board. It is obviously way too early to speak about the future of Contentsquare or a potential IPO, but clearly with such a valuation the company will change its scale and scope. Expectations on revenue will be higher (I’d estimate north of $100 million for the end of 2020), and one of the key challenges will be to move from 800 employees to about 2,300 by the end of 2024. Federating new hires and acquired talent from different companies will require careful execution and a solid internal culture.
The French tech ecosystem is booming, and we will learn more at VivaTech, Europe’s biggest startup and tech event, from June 16 to June 19, where a line of global tech leaders will speak. Between Back Market, Ynsect, EcoVadis, Phenix, BlaBlaCar, and Vestiaire Collective, it is great to see so many French unicorns playing a role in sustainability. There are many entrepreneurs active in that space; we will hear more on this at another big conference, ChangeNOW, the world’s largest event for the planet. But Contentsquare isn’t exactly in the green tech space, right? No, but the experience analytics company recently launched Contentsquare Foundation, a nonprofit with a mission to promote digital accessibility. By reducing the digital gap, the company also contributes to society.
The Experience Analytics Business Is Booming, Too
As explained by my colleague Andrew Hogan here, the experience analytics business is finally booming. Decibel was acquired by Medallia, SessionCam by Glassbox (recent IPO at $350 million), and Quantum Metric, Amplitude, and Pendo are already valued over $1 billion in the category. There are a few key drivers explaining such a trend, but a critical one is that the pandemic has drastically accelerated the digital shift, forcing firms to prioritize the quality of their digital experiences on more and more channels and interfaces. As a SaaS experience analytics platform, Contentsquare’s mission is precisely to empower brands to create better experiences for all.
So, how will Contentsquare leverage such a huge amount of money? It plans to:
- Continue international expansion, by focusing on the US (already 50% of its business) and expanding more in Asia. The company has offices all over the world and works with 30% of the Global Fortune 100.
- Accelerate product and AI innovation. Contentsquare will increasingly have to innovate products and its own interface with machine learning and predictive analytics in the context of a cookieless world and an expanding number of channels. The company will also need to expand to new analytics within and outside of client platforms (think marketplaces).
- Continue M&A to enter new analytics segments. I discovered the UX analytics space via mobile, when I first met Clicktale in 2012 — the year when Contentsquare was created. A year later, I started discussing it with Jonathan Cherki, the CEO and founder at Contentsquare. Fast-forward almost 10 years: The startup has grown massively, acquiring Clicktale and Pricing Assistant (e-merchandising and pricing) in 2019 and Adapt My Web (accessibility) and Dareboost (speed and performance monitoring) in 2020. There are and will be quite a few opportunities to enter different analytics submarkets such as pricing, image, product, search, video, or voice analytics, while developing a strong tech partner ecosystem with open APIs.
Schedule an inquiry with us if you want to know more about the experience analytics space.