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On-screen guidance startup WalkMe raised $50M led by Insight, now valued around $400M

TechCrunch TechCrunch 2/06/2016 Ingrid Lunden

As more people and businesses shift to digital platforms to get things done, a cloud-based platform for making interfaces easier to navigate continues to grow. WalkMe, which helps guide people through confusing or complicated services online, has raised another $50 million in funding at a valuation that TechCrunch understands from reliable sources is now around $400 million.

The fundraise, which closed about a month ago, was first reported in GeekTime yesterday, without details of valuation or investors.

WalkMe has confirmed to me that the Series E round was led by new investor Insight Venture Partners — backer of other cloud-based B2B2C businesses like Shopify and Automattic, among many others — along with existing investors. To date, WalkMe, based out of San Francisco but with R&D roots in Tel Aviv, has raised just over $92 million, with other investors including Mangrove and Scale Venture Partners.

Up to now, the company has focused the majority of its efforts on working with web sites to make them easier for consumers to navigate. The company says it has over 700 customers, many of them household names like MasterCard, PayPal, BT, the U.S. Postal Service and Pandora.

Dan Adika, WalkMe’s co-founder and CEO, tells TechCrunch this business has already seen the startup exceed revenue targets for the last six quarters, with recurring revenue currently in the “tens of millions.”

While WalkMe will continue to grow that business, it will also be using the investment to expand into new areas, such as mobile services and more machine learning innovations.

Mobile is already an area where WalkMe has started to make some headway: it has started to offer a service for mobile apps and “we want to give it more emphasis. We will be doing more offerings on that level, first for developers and enterprises,” he said. “And we might also do an acquisition in this space to grow it,” he hinted, which would be WalkMe’s first acquisition when and if it happens. (And there are definitely a lot of contenders in the wider area of services that help assist people to navigate their way through apps and other services.)

As for machine learning, Adika said that the company is planning to launch a new product around this later in the year. He wouldn’t give many details but said that my guess of how something like this could work — using machine learning to effectively “learn” how different users are responding to sites, and use that to make better suggestions as those users continue to stay there — is on the right track.

Indeed, as the company continues to expand, there is a clear opportunity to use tools like machine learning to diversify and expand the kinds of things that WalkMe offers to its customers. You can see how the company has an opening, for example, not just to offer assistance to web and app visitors, but also to feed back that data to the companies using WalkMe’s services. You can see how this could, for example, be converted into a bigger A/B testing business.

And another area that is growing and interesting is how WalkMe could use its guidance system for better website personalization. If it’s able to identify what kind of user (or even a specific person) is coming to a site or app, it could then provide a much more specific experience, for example with different types of search results.

All of this kind of diversification is part and parcel of how WalkMe is growing and maturing, and could come in handy for another reason: an eventual entry into the public market, where investors will be expecting and needing more than just simple website assistance as a business model. WalkMe confirmed that it is walking towards an IPO, although Adika says that there is no specific timeline or mandate for when it would happen.

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