Startup Spotlight: Zarget's Conversion Rate Optimization
Zarget's conversion rate optimization software aims to put A/B testing and other tools into the hands of marketers, reducing reliance on developers.
Marketing, e-commerce and advanced analytics will be among the fastest-growing segments of enterprise software through 2019, Gartner predicted last summer.
This forecast certainly isn't hurting the business of startups like Zarget, a California-based company founded in early 2015 that recently raised $1.5 million in seed funding from backers including Accel Partners and Matrix Partners.
Zarget's conversion rate optimization software -- which addresses all of the areas tapped by Gartner for high growth -- was born out of the experience of the company's co-founder and CEO Arvind Parthiban. Prior to founding Zarget, he was a marketing manager at Zoho, handing the cloud software company's ManageEngine service management product. Parthiban became frustrated when he had to ask a developer or product manager every time he wanted to make a tweak to the software.
That inspiration led him to enlist Zoho colleagues to help him create a tool that gives marketers more direct control over three key marketing functionalities: A/B testing, which helps determine how changes to a website design affect usage; heatmaps, which shows which areas of a website are engaging users and which are not; and funnel analysis, which tracks users at different stages of conversion.
The idea was to give marketing teams ready access to testing data so they could reduce the implementation times for advertising campaigns, said Bharath Ganesh Anantharaman, Zarget's head of Digital Marketing "People without programming knowledge should be able to use the tool and measure the effectiveness of campaigns."
Zarget's two co-founders, CTO Santhosh Kumar and Chief Product Officer Naveen Venkat, also worked at Zoho, as did one of the company's chief investors, Girish Mathrubootham. The men are part of a burgeoning community of young entrepreneurs that continues to grow as Internet connectivity becomes more widespread in India, Anantharaman said. Mathrubootham's company, Freshdesk, is one of the earliest users of Zarget's product.
Zarget's tool is a plug-in for Google's popular Chrome browser, which Anantharaman said makes it simple to optimize web pages beyond log-in screens, such as shopping cart or checkout pages. Using Chrome also removes the need to load pages on third-party sites. Zarget may eventually also produce plug-ins for other browsers such as Mozilla's Firefox or Apple's Safari, but not in the near term, he said.
The standard version of Zarget's product starts at $15 a month and includes heatmaps, scrollmaps and funnel analysis. For $20 more a month, the professional edition adds A/B testing, split URL testing and Google Analytics integration. Zarget pricing aims to give users the best value for their money, Anantharaman said, noting that, for example, "if the same visitor comes to the page 10 times he is only counted once and you only have to pay for that one visitor."
Zarget's 20 customers encompass companies of all sizes, including e-commerce companies that conduct much of their business online and advertising agencies that cater to many clients, Anantharaman said. While "every company with a website doing business online is a potential customer," he said, Zarget's "sweet spot" is companies with sites that have at least 50,000 visitors a month.
Fast Facts about Zarget
Founded: February 2015
Founders: Arvind Parthiban (CEO), Santhosh Kumar (CTO) and Naveen Venkat (chief product officer)
HQ: Walnut, Calif.
Product: conversion rate optimization software
Customers: 20 customers, including Freshdesk
Funding: $1.5 million seed funding, with investors including Accel Partners, Matrix Partners and Girish Mathrubootham
Ann All is the editor of Enterprise Apps Today and eSecurity Planet. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade, writing about everything from business intelligence to virtualization.