Bitly, the world’s first and leading Link Management Platform, announced today that it received a $63 million majority investment from Spectrum Equity, a leading growth equity firm. The investment enables Bitly to expand its link management capabilities from a strong foothold in enterprise marketing to an increasingly diverse set of customers and teams. Founded in 2008, Bitly is used by millions of customers, including close to three quarters of the Fortune 500, who have collectively created over 32 billion links.
Businesses use Bitly’s intelligent links to gain greater transparency, control and data ownership across diverse and fragmented user experiences. This partnership with Spectrum, experienced builders of SaaS companies like Ancestry.com, SurveyMonkey, Lucid Software, and lynda.com, will help the company expand its tools and services. As part of this transaction, Pete Jensen and Parag Khandelwal from Spectrum Equity will join CEO Mark Josephson on the Board of Directors.
“Links exist in every single digital channel and are core to how businesses connect and communicate with their customers,” said Josephson. “There is an increasing opportunity to improve every click, tap, swipe, scroll and button-press and Spectrum is the perfect partner for Bitly at this stage.”
“This deal with Spectrum underscores Bitly’s emergence as the leader of link management, a new category that connects the customer experience and insights across product lines and departments,” Josephson continued. “We see a future where companies have more brand visibility in every channel, real time data access, and control over the customer journey because they have made link management a central part of all business units. Today’s announcement marks an important step towards this.”
“Bitly is one of the strongest brands on the internet and has achieved a level of ubiquity rarely seen,” said Jensen. “Mark and the leadership team at Bitly have done a great job turning the company from ‘free only’ to a fast growing and profitable freemium SaaS company. We’re excited to provide the capital, support and experience to help scale the business to the next level.”Bitly’s
Enterprise Edition offers companies increased transparency into and control over its links through features including:
- Branded Bitlinks, fully customizable links to build trust and brand consistency, with auto-branding for organically generated links created by users across the Bitly network.
- Oneview, which tracks your customer’s experience on every link and every channel in real time, making it easy to analyze campaigns or channels from a macro and micro level.
- Brand Manager, which helps customers segment account activity and analytics by department, location, channel, brand or user.
- Mobile Optimizer, which allows users to create device-aware links that drive app installs and re-engagement. In tandem with this investment, today Bitly has released updates to Mobile Optimizer, an improved deep linking offering for all its Enterprise users.
Bitly was advised by GCA Global and Fenwick & West.
Spectrum Equity was advised by Kirkland & Ellis.
See below for an article with more details on the company from Anthony Ha, TechCrunch.
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Bitly is announcing that it has raised $63 million in additional funding from Spectrum Equity — a deal that gives the growth equity firm a majority stake in Bitly.
Founded in 2008, the company was initially known for providing a handy link shortening tool for anyone with a Twitter account, but it’s now focused on using link shortening as a way to provide more control and data to businesses.
Bitly’s products now include branded short links, analytics on the identity and activity of whoever’s interacting with those links and device-aware mobile deep links that are designed to drive app installs and re-engagement. Customers include what Bitly says is “close to three quarters of the Fortune 500.”
According to CrunchBase, Bitly’s last venture funding round was back in 2012. As part of the new deal, Spectrum’s Pete Jensen and Parag Khandelwal are joining Bitly CEO Mark Josephson (who took over in 2014) on the board of directors.
“Bitly is one of the strongest brands on the internet and has achieved a level of ubiquity rarely seen,” Jensen said in the announcement. “Mark and the leadership team at Bitly have done a great job turning the company from ‘free only’ to a fast growing and profitable freemium SaaS company. We’re excited to provide the capital, support and experience to help scale the business to the next level.”
Bitly is used by businesses around the world to build stronger connections with their customers across every digital channel. Originally known for its world-leading link shortening, Bitly now provides an enterprise-grade Link Management Platform that connects every component of a company’s internal and external communications and offers tools, data and analytics for transparency and control over the customer experience. For more information, visit bitly.is/about.