Personyze sees boom in personalised web content

Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:57am EDT

* Monthly sales to grow to $1 mln from tens of thousands

* Seeking strategic partnerships

* Market worth $1.5 bln, growing 20 pct annually

* Competitors include IBM, Adobe

By Tova Cohen

TEL AVIV, June 20 (Reuters) - Israeli software start-up Personyze expects a booming market in personalised web content to fuel a rise in its monthly sales to at least $1 million within a year.

The company, whose software enables businesses to personalise content on their websites, is also seeking strategic partnerships with software firms that would include an investment to spur its growth.

Founder and Chief Executive Yacov Shabat told Reuters the firm had already received an offer to be acquired by a public company based in the United States, but Personyze turned that down.

"I think we can get a better price if we realise the full potential of our company and it's not time yet," Shabat said.

Danny Hen, vice president of marketing and business development, added: "We want to first dominate our space and then consider this type of engagement."

While Personyze has been approached by venture capital firms, Hen said the company preferred to connect with a leading player in the market who would offer not just capital but a way to reach the market faster.

The web personalisation and analytics market is $1.5 billion a year and forecast to grow 20 percent annually, Shabat said.

Personyze, which began selling its platform in April, has tens of thousands of dollars in monthly revenue from licence fees and expects to reach $200,000 a month by year end.

Monthly sales of at least $1 million within a year "is a very realistic number," Shabat said, adding he expects Personyze to be balanced in two quarters and profitable next year.

"We are seeing positive signs that the market is beginning to focus on personalisation as a tool to deliver better results," he said.

Competition includes giants such as IBM , which last year bought marketing software firm Unica for $480 million, and Adobe Systems , which acquired software maker Omniture for $1.8 billion. Oracle and SAP are also moving into this market.

Personyze software is a self-service product hosted on Amazon's cloud while competitors focus on server-installed solutions.

The company says the software is designed to be used by small and large websites and focuses on customising the content of a website to visitors' preferences, not just ads or banners.

It has added integration with Facebook, enabling businesses to take advantage of the information on visitors' profiles if they give permission.

Clients include vacation rental website HomeAway, which has filed to go public soon, and online betting site 888 .

"Personyze is seeing a lot of demand for its platform and is in talks with Fox News and one of the largest media companies in Brazil with 500 million page views, among others," Shabat said. (Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)

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