The story of international entrepreneurs making a pilgrimage to Silicon Valley to test their company-building mettle is well told. One such chapter being written today, however, has a different narrative.
The founders behind Predicta, which is setting up shop in the SOMA district of San Francisco, aren’t from the predictable engineering hotbeds of Asia or Europe. Rather, they’re from Rio de Jinero, Brazil. The company isn’t some nacent aspirational venture either. Predicta has was founded in 1999 and has grown bootstrapped to over 150 employees with customers in 19 countries making it one of the best untold stories in Latin American tech.
Chief innovation officer and head of US operations Phillip Klien is leading the company’s expansion to the US alongside of the launch of a new version of its flagship product, small- and medium-sized business (SMB) website optimization platform SiteApps. The platform combines tag management, behavioral targeting, and a custom site app marketplace to optimize the Web and mobile presence of these SMBs.
“SMBs need a resource to learn how to best address weaknesses in their websites and capitalize on untapped opportunities,” says Klien.
The new SiteApps offers non-technical and cost-constrained business owners an automated site diagnostic platform that taps into the data within Google Analytics to understand visitor behaivor. The service then recommends downloads from among its 200 current HTML5 apps – a number growing by three to five per day – to address deficiencies in mobile optimization, ecommerce, and visitor personalization, among dozens of other areas. Once users signup, the platform continuously reviews the analytics data and makes ongoing recommendations.
The apps offered by SiteApps are a combination of proprietary and third-party solutions. The company is counting on the ubiquity of HTML5 to attract a wide pool of developers to the platform to further extend its offerings.
Predicta is more than the SiteApps platform. The company also offers a personalization technology called BT Buckets which is used by more than10,000 sites worldwide, 85 percent of which are based in the US and Europe, with only 15 percent located in Brazil.
Early on, the company was founded with AdOps product, which to this day continues to serve 9 percent of all display ads in Brazil – a figure that’s down from 50 percent at its all time high occuring prior to the arrival of Google Analytics. AdOps has powered the marketing initiatives of brands including Pepsi, Volkswagen, Visa and Audi for over a decade.
All told, Predicta’s revenue is reportedly increasing at a blistering compound annual growth rate of 50 percent. FastCompany was one of the few in North America to pick up on this success story, ranking it as one of the Top 10 most innovative companies in Brazil earlier this year.
Predicta took its first ever outsite financing at the end of 2011, in a Series A round of undisclosed size led by Brazil’s second largest media group RBS. RBS has long dominated in the regional TV, radio, and newspaper segments, but recently launched an internet holding company called ebricks, which was the source of the Predicta investment.
The global growth of Predicta while basing its operations entirely in Brazil is remarkable. That notwithstanding, Klein and his co-founders feel that the next phase of growth demands they have a presence among the industry leading companies with which it wants to partners, and occasionally compete.
The company’s immigration story is unique, given that it’s arriving as a relative unknown but yet is doing so from a position of strength rather than weakness. Fascinating and impressive as this may be, it will be little more than a nice conversation starter, while the company will be judged entirely on the strength of its product. The history of its previous offerings suggests that SiteApps is unlikely to disappoint.