Call it a decade-long overnight success, or perhaps just an idea whose time has come, but Kliken (formerly known as SiteWit) has been on a fundraising tear.
The Tampa-based company, founded in 2009 and led by founder Ricardo Lasa, raised $3.6 million in December and just received an additional $500,000 from Florida Funders’ Fund 2. According to a news release, the funds will be used to help Kliken accelerate partnership integrations, sales outreach, product development and marketing, and expand its executive team.
Kliken has created a digital marketing platform that specializes in helping small and medium-sized businesses optimize digital advertising campaigns. Florida Funders Managing Partner Tom Wallace said it’s a great solution for companies that can’t afford and likely don’t need the services of a full-fledged advertising agency.
“It’s for any small- or medium-sized business that’s looking to use Google, Facebook or LinkedIn ad words to do online marketing,” he said. “They have a way to do it that makes it very simple and easy to manage.”
According to Wallace, Kliken has forged key partnerships with leading e-commerce creation platforms like WooCommerce, Wix and SquareSpace, and it’s in talks with Shopify. “If you’re going through WooCommerce and you’re setting up your website, you get an offer that says, ‘Hey, do you want to have somebody manage your ad words?’ So if you click on that, that’s all Kliken.”
With the coronavirus pandemic making e-commerce even more commonplace, Wallace believes the timing couldn’t be better to provide Kliken with the fuel to shift into a higher gear.
“The world was already going down the e-commerce path as it was, and that’s just been accelerated by COVID,” Wallace said. “And I think all of us can agree that we’re not going back. And so we love the e-commerce space. We have a bunch of portfolio companies in this space.”
Kliken, with 20 employees, was already doing very well — Wallace said it brings in more than $3 million in annual recurring revenue and has more than 3,000 customers.
“It’s growing every month, very nicely,” Wallace said, adding that the growth rate of Kliken’s monthly recurring revenue was 452 percent over the past 24 months. “And it’s all coming from these partners,” he said, referring to the likes of WooCommerce and Wix.
The pivot to working directly with e-commerce creation platforms was critical to Kliken’s accelerated growth, according to Wallace. The move virtually eliminated the need for a sales and marketing team, for example. “They’re really not dependent on that anymore,” he said. “The partners are going to do that for them.”
Wallace expects a quick exit for Kliken, likely around three years. He’s known Lasa for a long time and admires the Kliken founder’s perseverance and resilience.
“We love to see that in a founder — he’s just not going to quit,” Wallace said. “He’s not going to give up; he’s going to figure out a way to make this successful. Ricardo has got a lot of his own money in it, too. We like to see founders who have a lot of skin in the game.”