Bill Hartzer

Sequoia Invests in Kenshoo and Search Engine Marketing Automation Technology


Is Jason Calacanis now in the search engine marketing automation business? Perhaps not, but an interesting investment by Sequoia Capital, the company that where Jason Calacanis serves as “Entrepreneur in Action”, puts Mr. Calacanis a little closer to being in the SEM automation business.

Sequoia Capital and Kenshoo, a provider of “innovative Search Marketing Automated Solutions”, have announced a “strategic collaboration upon official closing of the institutional funding round”.

Kenshoo’s main product, KENSHOO SEARCH(TM), is an end-to-end search engine marketing platform that automates the process of building and optimizing cross channel search engine marketing campaigns. This latest investment by Sequoia Capital apparently will be used to “accelerate the company’s rapid growth in key global markets, including the launch of an office in the UK in early 2008, and roll out to other global markets through the year.”

Kenshoo Search uses what they call “quality management”:

Quality Management is a unique approach which automates all aspects of Search campaigns. Bid management is not enough anymore! In today’s search engines arena, creating a successful SEM campaign consists of a wide array of elements;
* Selecting relevant keywords
* Updating deep links URL’s
* Creating effective ads
* Providing and constantly updating bids
* Monitoring the traffic
* Structuring cross platform campaigns
* Reporting and analyzing data on-time

Kenshoo has a search formula that guarantees that every search engine marketing campaign a long tail. They use “patented multilingual keyword expansion” and they automatically identify thousands of related keywords from real user search terms. They say that there’s no need for manpower and many hours of effort to do this.

The management team at Kenshoo has a lot of experience in the industry:

Yoav Izhar-Prato, CEO & Co-Founder- As a founder of several start-ups around the globe and former manager of ECI Thailand, Mr. Izhar-Prato brings over ten years of business management to Kenshoo. Mr. Izhar-Prato carries an Executive B.A., Business management from Ruppin College.

Alon Sheafer, VP Marketing & Co-Founder- Mr. Sheafer brings over ten years of internet experience to Kenshoo. Alon has a strong Technological background combined with sales and marketing experience. Formerly founder and CEO of Bazman, a price comparison website. Mr. Sheafer holds a B.Sc in Computer Science from the Academic College of Tel-Aviv Jaffa.

Nir Cohen, CTO & CO-Founder- As former founder and CTO of Bazman, a price comparison website, Mr. Cohen carries years of experience in leading design and development teams for companies such as Demantra and Imperva. Mr. Cohen holds a B.Sc in Physics & Computer science from Ben Gurion University, Israel.

Andrey Shirben, Head of Campaigns- A former VP in marketing with Storewiz Ltd, Mr. Shirben brings a history of technology experience to Kenshoo. As Head of Campaigns, Mr. Shirben’s background lies in business management and computer science with a BA in Management & Computer science from Open University in Israel.

Udi Broyer, CFO & COO- Mr. Broyer brings over ten years of Financial and operational experience to Kenshoo. Mr. Broyer previously served as the Director of Finance of Metacafe a leading UGC Video web site. He held various executive financial positions such as financial consultants for JVP a Venture Capital firm and VP of Finance at Fundtech. Mr. Broyer is a CPA and served as a Senior Audit Manager in the high-tech group at “Ernst & Young” Israel. Mr. Broyer holds a B.A in Accounting and Economics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.

Since 1972, Sequoia Capital, based in Palo Alto, California has provided startup venture capital for very smart people who want to turn ideas into companies. As the “Entrepreneurs Behind the Entrepreneurs,” Sequoia Capital’s Partners have worked with innovators such as Sandy Lerner and Len Bozack of Cisco Systems, Jerry Yang and David Filo of Yahoo!, Gaurav Garg of Redback Networks, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Dan Warmenhoven of Network Appliance, T.J. Rodgers of Cypress Semiconductor, Lou Tomasetta of Vitesse Semiconductor, Steve Jobs of Apple Computer and Larry Ellison of Oracle. The companies organized by Sequoia Capital now account for about 12% of the value of NASDAQ.

Kenshoo, founded in 2006 and headquartered in Israel, is a provider of end-to-end search marketing automated technology for advertisers and agencies worldwide.

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