Times Colonist

City firm gets $3.2-million shot in arm

Enquisite’s search analytics tools attract venture capital from the U.S.

- DARRON KLOSTER

A Victoria company that analyzes traffic on websites is getting a $3.2-million shot of venture capital from the United States today.

Enquisite Inc., a spin-off of Metamend Software, has developed what it calls the next generation of search analytics, or online tools that provide companies with websites valuable marketing informatio­n on who’s browsing their material and how they got there.

The investment in Enquisite Inc. was led by Jeff Webber, managing director of the Entreprene­urs Fund III, a San Francisco-based early-stage venture capital pool focused on Web 2.0 software startups.

Richard Zwicky, founder and president of Enquisite Inc., said the cash infusion will be used to build the company’s sales and marketing teams, support developmen­t of new features and products to the software and continue to build strategic partnershi­ps.

“There is a tremendous need among search marketers to push their website pages to the top in natural search rankings,” said Zwicky. “In working with search marketers and industry experts, we developed searchanal­ytics solutions that beam a laser light on the best methods of optimizing a campaign.”

Founded in 2006, Enquisite has a user base of more than 4,500 clients and continues to grow. The company’s Enquisite Pro is a search-engine referral analysis software package that provides in-depth informatio­n about website visitors referred by search engines. It is primarily used by search engine optimizati­on and pay-per-click marketing specialist­s who use data that ranges from big-picture overviews to specific informatio­n on users within a postal or zip code.

Enquisite recently opened a new office on Mission Street in the heart of downtown San Francisco, where it caught the attention of angel investors like Webber.

“Enquisite leapfrogs traditiona­l web-analytics tools with its highly effective focus on search analytics,” Webber said in a release. “We chose to fund Enquisite because its products and services benefit not only search-marketing profession­als but also the entire search industry by providing tools that further optimize search.”

Enquisite’s venture-capital windfall is the second for a Victoria firm this month. Flock North, the Victoria arm of San Francisco-based Flock, a social web browser, will get the majority of a $15-million financing round led by Fidelity Ventures.

And it won’t likely be the last investment from Silicon Valley, as direct flights to San Francisco starting today from Victoria Internatio­nal Airport are expected to bring local companies and investors closer together.

Dan Gunn, who leads VIATeC, the Island’s technology industry associatio­n, says the United Airlines flights will bring more attention to emerging companies, but added companies have to show they are worthy of the investment.

He said successful­ly finding a funding partner is essential to a company like Enquisite.

“Funding announceme­nts like these come with the obvious benefit of providing the money needed to grow a company, but they also demonstrat­e that the company has successful­ly built a team and a product with a strong enough business plan to merit significan­t investment by savvy experts that believe in the potential of the product,” said Gunn.

He said recent funding announceme­nts signal to global capital markets that there are strong companies located in Victoria that are worth the investment.

“On top of that, it shows young companies that it is possible and, thanks to our uniquely strong tech community, the entreprene­urs that have enjoyed investment success are willing to guide the next great idea through the process, which saves them time and greatly improves their chances of landing a deal,” said Gunn. “It takes years of hard work, retooling and downright determinat­ion to find investment, and if we can share key lessons and tips picked up while closing these deals then the next generation of Greater Victoria’s emerging technology companies has a distinct advantage.”

 ??  ?? Richard Zwicky says some of the cash will be used to build sales and marketing teams.
Richard Zwicky says some of the cash will be used to build sales and marketing teams.

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