Analytics is a crowded space, with plenty of services looking to help you turn your visitors into engaged, paid customers. KissMetrics is the latest to join the fray, and it’s offering a solution that’s both straightforward and powerful. As it comes out of stealth, the company is also revealing its funding: in 2008 it closed a $1 million seed round led by True Ventures, and in mid-2009 it closed a $3 million round led by Polaris Ventures. The company also has investments from SoftTechVC, Felicis Ventures, and Angels including Dave McClure, Mark Goines, Shervin Pishevar, Bobby Yazdani, and Nils Johnson.
At this point, KissMetrics is built around one type of analysis: the conversion funnel, which shows you how many users are dropping off during your signup flows (and can hopefully help you figure out why). You can customize these graphs by tracking different variables, but Cofounder Hiten Shah says that you won’t find a dizzying array of other options. The goal, he says, was to get this one key tool to work very well before branching out (though other tools will follow).
KissMetrics started off around two years ago as an analytics service for Facebook applications, but shifted to its broader current model after noticing how many companies were building their analytics tools in-house. That story may sound familiar: the founders of Mixpanel, another analytics company, drew similar inspiration from their time at Slide.
So how does KissMetrics differ from Mixpanel and the other analytics services that are already out there? Shah says that other services generally track clicks and events, but that they don’t track users. KissMetrics, on the other hand, can be used to track the activity of a user even before they’ve even joined your site — it essentially builds an anonymous history for each user, and then associates that history with their username once they create an account. For example, if you were to visit a site five times without converting, but then visited a sixth time and did convert, the site’s owners can use KissMetrics to look back at the history of the first five visits to try to identify where they went wrong.
While this technology could potentially be used for things like cross-site advertising, Shah says KissMetricsonly creates these user histories on a per-site basis (he explains that this minimizes privacy issues). In the future, he says that KissMetrics products will evolve toward helping optimize marketing and customer acquisition.
The service is free for the first thirty days, then offers tiered monthly pricing plans based on how many events you’ll be tracking. These plans begin at $149 a month and go up to $699, with custom plans for especially large sites.