SEOmoz CEO Rand Fishkin has been down this path before, as detailed in his extensive account of the company’s unsuccessful attempt to raise a large round of venture capital funding last year. But this time, with a different investor, the deal has actually closed.
They’re so excited that they’ve created their own Internet memes about it.
The Seattle-based provider of search-engine and social-media optimization software is announcing this morning that it has raised $18 million in Series B funding from Foundry Group of Boulder, Colo., along with one of its original investors, Bellevue-based Ignition Partners.
Foundry’s Brad Feld (one of the co-founders of TechStars) will be joining the SEOmoz board as a result of the deal.
Gillian Muessig, the company’s co-founder (and Fishkin’s mom) will be stepping down as president and board member, looking to pursue new projects.
SEOmoz says it plans to use the money to expand its web index, add new features to its software, hire more people and possibly make some acquisitions. The company currently has 60 employees, all of them in Seattle.
“It’s a huge amount of relief,” Fishkin said via phone yesterday afternoon, on his walk home from the office. “It feels like the last few years finally make sense around this process. The company has been going great … but there was always this monkey on my back: Why, if all of these things are going well, do we not have the kind of external validation and interest from investors?”
“This is validation, and it’s a validation in such a big way. Brad is such a huge presence in the industry. … It just feels great.”
So great that they decided to have some fun with their news release. Here’s the full text, with more details on the financing, the company and its growth.
SEOmoz Memenounces $18 Million in Series B Funding
Company Leverages Memes to Tell Investment Story; Brad Feld from Foundry Group Joins Board
SEATTLE, WA – May 2, 2012 – SEOmoz, the industry’s most popular provider of search engine and social optimization software, today announced its dislike for the normal press release, and intention to announce their $18 million in Series B funding with a handful of internet memes instead.
The Seattle-based company received $18 million in Series B funding today from Foundry Group of Boulder, Colo., with an additional investment from Ignition Partners of Bellevue, WA. SEOmoz previously raised a single round of funding in 2007 in the amount of $1.1 million from Ignition Partners and Curious Office. SEOmoz’s revenue in 2010 was $5.7 million and doubled in 2011 to $11.4 million. The company is predicting revenue between $18-20 million in 2012.
SEOmoz makes software for marketers with a focus on inbound channels including SEO, social media, content and community. Moz helps professionals better understand and address the complex field of organic search marketing by using software that crawls websites to find errors or missed opportunities, and then makes recommendations based on best practices. Moz has a current roster of 15,000 paying subscribers and a monthly web count of over 2 million visitors to their very vocal online community.
The new stack of cash will help SEOmoz grow their web index, hire new team members, add more social and content functionality to its software, and even make some acquisitions.
“In that first phone call with Brad, I knew we’d found someone special,” said Rand Fishkin, CEO. “I was, honestly, scared of starting another fundraising process after our previous two attempts, but the chemistry between Foundry and Moz was instant – we couldn’t ask for a better fit. This new partnership coupled with the continued support of our original investors, Ignition Partners, gives us the ability to achieve some remarkable milestones in the years to come.”
Despite a second failed fundraising attempt in the summer of 2011, Moz grew from $5.7 million in revenue in 2010 to $11.4 million in 2011, and nearly doubled in both customers and site traffic.
With an online community of over 400,000 marketers, SEOmoz has become the de-facto white-hat source for inbound marketing intelligence on the web. The growth and counter-culture attitude of Moz quickly piqued the interest of Brad Feld at Foundry Group who committed to a partnership with SEOmoz in one of the fastest fundraising rounds in history.
“SEOmoz is one of those companies that you just know is going to do big things, “ said Brad Feld, Managing Director at Foundry Group. “We love investing in amazing people who are obsessed with their products. Moz has an awesome culture, impeccable character, strong market leadership and the financial growth trajectory to back it all up. Plus, they promised me they’d put the word fuck in a press release.”
Co-founder Gillian Muessig will be retiring from her current position as board member and President, while Brad Feld from Foundry Group and Sarah Bird, SEOmoz’s COO, will be joining the board.