Search marketing digital tech company WordStream just raised $12 million in new venture capital funding led by Baird Capital of Chicago, totaling $25 million raised.
Ralph Folz, WordStream CEO, agrees that search is complex, but sees services moving more to mobile devices that support search on Bing, Google and Yahoo, among others. As applications continue to dominate mobile search, and remarketing evolves, the plan to support all will lead WordStream to hire more engineers and accelerate the features and capabilities of its software.
Customer feedback fuels many of the ideas. At the end of last year, WordStream released its Landing Pages & Leads offering -- and this month, Call Tracking. There are several key initiatives in the product road map.
WordStream analyzes more than $700 million of new advertising dollars spent every month through its free AdWords Performance Grader tool.
Folz agrees that search is complex. "Every time you turn around there are new innovations and options for targeting, new ad formats, and new ways to configure your campaigns," he said. "Small and medium businesses need platforms that can be prescriptive, tell them what to do, and how to be successful. This is the gap we try to address."
About 105 employees support WordStream clients -- with 100 in the Boston area. With 30% of clients outside of North America, the company offers a dedicated international team and continues to consider physical locations overseas.
When asked how Microsoft Cortana, Apple Siri or Google Now may influence search marketing, WordStream co-founder Larry Kim believes ads will become more predictive. "Google will be able to show effective ads without requiring that users actually conduct a search," he said. "We're seeing this already with display ads. The targeting options continue to get better. Google can better infer exactly what you're interested in without conducting a search."
Early investors were Sigma Partners and Egan Managed Capital, which provided the initial capital and guidance to build the company.