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Global A/B testing firm opens first APAC office in Sydney

Optimizely, a US-based company that helps businesses do A/B testing at scale, is expanding into the Asia Pacific region, with the opening of a regional headquarters in Sydney today.

Dan Ross, the former head of customer and sales operations at Optimizely’s headquarters in San Francisco, has been appointed managing director of Australia and New Zealand. And the company is actively hiring a full go-to-market team – with roles in Sydney and Melbourne – to support its push into the region.

Optimizely already has a large base of Australian customers, including Atlassian, Optus, AGL Energy, Chemist Warehouse and Fox Sports, and has raised a total of US$146 million from investors including Index Ventures, Benchmark Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.

The company says it has seen 257 per cent year-on-year growth in product usage in Australia alone and its technology is improving the customer experience for more than 28 million users a month. The impending launch of Amazon has boosted interest in recent months.

“Increasingly, we are experiencing what we call, ‘the Amazon effect’, which is resulting in a sharp lift in the number of experiments being conducted by local retailers to strengthen their position ahead of Amazon’s arrival – a company whose culture is built on endless experimentation,” said Ross.

Optimizely was founded in 2010 by Dan Siroker and Pete Koomen, who came up with the product while working as director of analytics on Barack Obama’s successful 2008 presidential campaign.

The platform allows businesses to personalise websites, mobile apps and connected devices using statistically-significant data from A/B testing to achieve their desired outcomes.

Customers can experiment at scale on all parts of their business, including marketing, product, engineering and customer service leading to faster and better decisions.

Optimizely has strong relationships with businesses in the retail, media and travel sectors, and is now seeing considerable uptake by industries with more traditional business models such as, utilities, superannuation, health insurance and telecommunications, according to Ross.

“These industries are under threat by increased competition from new and more agile players, which is why they’re turning to Optimizely in order to innovate at speed,” he said, adding that the increasing demand for innovation from Australian businesses, as well as talent density, were key reasons the company selected Sydney for its regional headquarters.

The new Sydney office, in the heart of the CBD on George Street, is Optimizely’s fifth global location outside of the US. The office allows the company to provide greater support to local customers, while also enhancing its 24/7 global customer support offering.

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