Startup Of The Week

Startup of the Week: ContentSquare

ContentSquare is a Paris-based company that helps clients gain greater understanding of exactly how customers use their websites in order to rapidly improve the online experience.

The French startup provides a cloud-based service that can track even the most minute of interactions, such as the movement of the mouse, or a slight hesitation, to understand what users like and what may be driving them away. While traditional solutions such as Google Analytics allow companies to know what has happening in terms of visitors coming and going, ContentSquare tries to provide insight into why customers behave in a certain way.

ContentSquare CEO Jonathan Cherki

Beyond delivering a rich set of data, ContentSquare also aims to provide it quickly and in a format that anyone in an organization can understand. The ultimate objective is to allow companies to adapt their websites quickly based on this feedback, but also to let each employee understand how changes they make are affecting the customer’s experience.

We are trying to democratize access to the data,” says ContentSquare founder and CEO Jonathan Cherki. “The best way to improve a company is to improve the ability of everyone in the company to measure their own contribution.”

Cherki started the company in 2012, after dropping out of business school. For several years, the company grew organically. Then in 2016, the company raised $20 million in venture capital, followed by another $42 million in January. Today, the company has 250 employees and more than 100 corporate clients, including such heavy hitters as Goldman Sachs, HP, and Walmart.

Part of the underlying philosophy of ContentSquare is trying to change the mindset of how it clients think about increasing their customers and sales via their websites. Cherki explained that traditionally, companies try to attract growing numbers of visitors, hoping that some small percentage will convert in sales or sales leads or some other kind of valuable asset.

The problem is that there is massive competition for those users’ attention online. And on mobile, those rates of conversion fall dramatically. And devices like smartphones, customers, and especially millennials, have little patience for pages that are slow to load or that are difficult to navigate.

So instead, ContentSquare wants clients to spend more time improving the website experience to increase the percentage of people who buy something or opt-in to some kind of services. While it works with e-commerce companies, it also works with financial services and insurance companies, among others.

“Every company has goals to grow,” Cherki said. “And to do that, they need to improve their web experiences. Because it’s a question of survival.”

Going forward, the company is making big investments in artificial intelligence and machine learning to make its services more predictive. Its employees are located primarily in Paris, but they are also scattered among its numerous global offices. Those locations now include New York City, where Cherzi has been splitting his time as the company tries to break into the U.S. market.

About the author

Jennifer L. Schenker

Jennifer L. Schenker, an award-winning journalist, has been covering the global tech industry from Europe since 1985, working full-time, at various points in her career for the Wall Street Journal Europe, Time Magazine, International Herald Tribune, Red Herring and BusinessWeek. She is currently the editor-in-chief of The Innovator, an English-language global publication about the digital transformation of business. Jennifer was voted one of the 50 most inspiring women in technology in Europe in 2015 and 2016 and was named by Forbes Magazine in 2018 as one of the 30 women leaders disrupting tech in France. She has been a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneers judge for 20 years. She lives in Paris and has dual U.S. and French citizenship.