BrightEdge, a company that offers tools for search engine optimization and content marketing, is announcing that it has raised a big $42.8 million Series D.
The round was led by Insight Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors Intel Capital, Battery Ventures, Altos Ventures and Illuminate Ventures. The company has now raised more than $63 million total.
BrightEdge started out as an SEO company, and when it raised its Series C early last year, that was still the main focus. At the same time, co-founder and CEO Jim Yu told me at the time that “search is evolving” and that BrightEdge was keeping up with that evolution. Now, the company seems to be emphasizing the content marketing side of its business — in other words, helping businesses ensure that the content they create has the reach and impact that they want. In an email, Yu argued the company has a broader vision for content marketing that includes, but is not limited to, SEO (after all, what is SEO but another way to promote your content?).
“Our goal is to become the essential content marketing platform for modern business,” Yu said. “If we can deliver on our promise of understanding consumer engagement of organic content across all digital channels, we fundamentally believe we can change the trajectory of marketing.”
The content marketing features highlighted on the BrightEdge website include the ability to measure traffic, revenue, and engagement on content across search, social, mobile and other digital channels; to find popular topics on Twitter and tie them into the brand content that’s getting the best results; and to forecast the financial impact of a content marketing campaign before it launches.
BrightEdge says that it’s being used by 600 direct clients who collectively operate 6,000 brands — 300 of those clients, including SuccessFactors, SurveyMonkey, and Choice Hotels International, signed up in the past 12 months. The company also says that its customers include nine of the 10 largest hotel groups, seven of the top 10 online retailers, and seven of the 10 largest technology companies.
“Near term, our goal is about pure scale to meet demand,” Yu said. “This means more investment in engineering, sales and marketing to grow the business. In the next year our goal is to further expand our platform, adding new ‘webscale’ capabilities across every channel. This is a massive market opportunity and we have some fairly ridiculous goals in terms of growth, customer adoption and impact.”