Sequoia Pumps More Funding Into Search Marketing Startup Kenshoo

Israel-based search engine marketing (SEM) automator Kenshoo has received another capital injection from its existing backers Sequoia Capital and Arts Alliance.

As with the Series A round, this second round of funding remained undisclosed, although our contact person at the company ensures it that this was an “up-round” financing and that the valuation was “50% higher than the last time” it attracted outside capital.

The startup, based out of Tel Aviv but active worldwide, says it will use the funding to further fuel its expansion and explore new business opportunities in the search marketing space.

Kenshoo’s flagship product, Kenshoo Search, is billed as an end-to-end SEM platform and essentially automates most if not all of the work usually carried out by marketing consultants (who are of course much pricier than automation software). In that regard, Kenshoo also competes with bid-management software from all the online advertising giants (DoubleClick, aQuantive’s Atlas Solutions, and Omniture) but at the same time goes a step beyond that by taking a look at the quality of the campagns. Kenshoo is able to find relevant keywords across different search engines, and automatically changes campaign specifics to maximize their returns.

In the economic downturn we’re in, marketers should be focused on building or maintaining decent levels of Website traffic and drive better conversions. Search marketing is still the best customer acquisition tool in the online space, so it’s not a surprise that eMarketer predicted continued growth from 2008 to 2013 in a very recent report on the state of SEO spending in the U.S.

If Kenshoo can keep winning customers over by cutting out the middlemen and maximizing campaign ROIs, it definitely has potential to continue riding that wave and keep / make their investors happy.