After Growing Revenue 270% Last Year, Personalization Startup Sailthru Raises $19M From Benchmark, Adds Bill Gurley To Board

Personalization startup Sailthru has been growing rapidly, with revenues increasing 270 percent over the last year. With that in mind, the company has raised $19 million in new Series B financing led by Benchmark. Along with the funding, the company is adding Benchmark general partner Bill Gurley to its board of directors.

The new funding round brings total financing to a total of $29 million, which included a $9 million Series A round raised in 2011 and a $1 million seed round in 2010. Other investors include RRE, DFJ Gotham, and AOL Ventures.

Sailthru looks to provide actionable information to companies, and so it doesn’t just leverage big data — its uses what it calls “smart data” to provide actionable intelligence and personalization for email marketers and publishers. The company got its startup in email communications, providing publishers and marketers with tools to send data-driven, personalized marketing messages to subscribers of daily deals and other email newsletters. But while it was born out of the desire to provide end users with the best email communications, the startup has expanded to also provide personalized experiences on the web.

Now Sailthru leverages user data not just to create recommendations for users, but to build personalized user experiences for web visitors. That means that it can provide a different homepage experience to users, ensuring that not everyone will see the same content, and that what they see will be based on their interests.

The end result of this smart data is more engagement from end users, who spend more time on publisher sites and see more conversion through sales channels. It also means more targeted ads through Sailthru’s AdFlight product. All of which resulted revenues at the startup growing in excess of 9 percent month-over-month.

Sailthru is looking to accelerate that growth, by taking on the new funding, increasing headcount and opening new offices in strategic locations. The company currently has about 85 employees, but Sailthru VP of marketing Aubrey Sabala told me the company expects to double that number over the next year. It’s also looking to expand its recently opened San Francisco office and grow its presence in Europe in the coming months.