Strangeloop, the provider of web content optimization solutions and enterprise applications, today announced that it has raised $10 million in series B funding from a private investment group. Though Strangeloop wasn’t saying who this private investment group is, we’ve learned that the investment was made by a group of “Canadian super angels”. (Which sounds like a top flight hockey team. We’ll update when we learn more). According to Strangeloop CEO Jonathan Bixby, the startup’s new infusion of capital will be used to develop new products and features as well as to expand its global reach into Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The new round builds on the company’s $11.5 million series A, which it raised back in July 2007, bringing total investment to north of $22 million.
For those unfamiliar, the Vancouver-based company was founded in 2006 with the goal of creating a “magic box” of website performance best practices to make websites faster. Or, put another way, the company wanted to build a workable platform that would offer superior front-end optimization via the cloud. It began with its flagship desktop product, “Site Optimizer”, which allows website owners to quickly increase the load times of their sites.
How? By taking HTML (one of the front-end languages of choice for your website and browser) that has already been optimized for readability, supportability, etc., and retaining these benefits, and focusing on offering speedier page rendering by implementing a number of tweaks to object names, reordering when and how objects are rendered, how scripts are executed, and so on — optimizing all of this content for the specific browser its customers are using.
And so far it’s been working. Strangeloop has already seen companies like eBay, Visa, Petco, and Travelocity sign on as customers, thanks to what the company reports as speed improvements of up to 300 percent, conversion rates as high as 12 percent, and revenue increases of up to 52 percent. And, as one might guess from its customers, Strangeloop is targeting eCommerce companies, specifically, to enable these platforms to better retain their customers through faster load times — through a virtual appliance and through the cloud.
And while fast load times are important to every website on the Web (with some exceptions), high-trafficked eCommerce platforms have a bit more at stake than my fantasy baseball blog. According to Bixby, shoppers today expect commerce websites to load in 2 seconds or less. With such demands, each second lost in load time can equate to another lost consumer.
Strangeloop also recently took the logical next step from website optimization to mobile, launching its “Mobile Site Optimizer” to accelerate websites for mobile devices. But, according to Strangeloop, it’s not just a technology port, as it offers proprietary, mobile specific features (like Mobile SuperCache, Touch Event Conversion, and Dynamic Payload Decision Making) to leverage standards and protocols like HTML5 and Google’s SPDY.
The real value proposition for site performance optimizers like Strangeloop is that they turn traditional content optimization (which can be a complex, time consuming operation) into an automated process that happens in realtime — at the direction of an intelligent appliance.
Of course, it’s all about the results. Web content optimizers fly or die based on whether or not they can deliver the goods. Strangeloop has been making some great headway, but it’s got some competition from other awesome performance and security optimizers like Yottaa and CloudFlare. Both worthy startup competitors.