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This marketing startup converts e-commerce browsers into buyers

Entrepreneurial brothers Jay Radia (left) and Meelan RadiaEntrepreneurial brothers Jay Radia (left) and Meelan Radia
Entrepreneurial brothers Jay Radia (left) and Meelan RadiaMoses Hoyt Photography

Abandoned shopping carts are a particularly toxic problem for e-commerce retailers. On average, 70% of items selected by would-be buyers are left behind when shoppers abort a transaction.

Plenty of companies offer retargeting software as the antidote, basically triggering some sort of standard outreach when someone doesn’t push the buy button. London-based startup Yieldify, which Thursday disclosed an $11.5 million round led by Google Ventures and SoftBank Capital, has come up with a more personal approach to improve conversions.

The company, founded by brothers Jay and Meelan Radia, uses predictive analytics to respond to each visitor uniquely. It uses a person’s multichannel browsing history to generate individual outreach, even for first-time site visitors. In less than two years, Yieldify has scored deals with more than 1,000 global brands including Marks and Spencer, and French Connection. Last year, revenue grew by 480%, although the company doesn’t disclose annual sales so it’s tough to gauge how meaningful that number is.

“It’s quite a unique technology that reacts to a customer’s onsite behavior,” said Google Ventures general partner Avid Larizadeh Duggan, one of the venture capitalists behind the company’s $125 million fund dedicated to European startups that could have a global impact.

Duggan was herself an e-commerce entrepreneur, as founder of fashion marketplace Boticca. “One of the other differences is that it is very focused on lower funnel optimization,” she said.

Another notable distinction: under Yieldify’s business model, e-tailers only pay when there’s an actual conversion.

“We only get paid if the client makes money,” said Jay Radia, the former investment banker who acts as the 120-person company’s CEO. His brother, Meelan, is chief technology officer.

The financing will fund market expansions in London, New York, Berlin, and Sydney. “Most of it will be going into engineers and data scientists,” Jay Radia said.

Yieldify previously raised a $1.2 million seed round.

The Google Ventures European fund has disclosed three other investments. The group was involved in a $9 million round this week for Lost My Name, a “personalized” publisher of books and other content for children; and it was part of a $140 million raise last June for rights and royalties management platform Kobalt Music Group. Its portfolio is also tied to Oxford Sciences Innovation, affiliated with the University of Oxford science and technology departments.

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