Startup Monday: TellApart.com Raises $13 Million

This morning TechCrunch announced that TellApart.com, a company founded by ex-Google employees has raised 13 million in series B funding today. TellApart offers personalized advertising helping to tailor ads specifically to a website’s visitor.

tell_apart_mainpageSo what exactly does “personalized retargeting” mean? It’s a pretty cool algorithm that allows you to reach potential customers even when they are not on your site itself. It works by identifying people who have visited your website but abandoned their shopping cart. Since they know that at some point the customer was interested in buying particular products from you they then advertise to that same customer when they are on a completely different site that is also using their technology. The idea is that when they are on another site that they have a greater comfort-level with and see an ad for a product they were going to buy on your site they will re-engage and buy the product.

TellApart currently has some major clients using their system like Drugstore.com, Diapers.com, and eBags.com to name a few. Of course as a Domainer I’m also always interested to understand the history of the domain name.

One of my absolutely favorite DomainTools features is the ability to go back in time and view the WHOIS history of a domain. For me this feels a bit like getting-into a time machine and taking a look at how a domain goes from a simple registration to a major company getting millions in funding.

TellApart.com was originally registered by someone in Paris, France back in October of 2007. Then a year later the name changed hands to a guy in EmeryVille, California who then seems to have moved to Texas in April of 2009. In May of 2010 the name changed hands again, this time to a Stanford Alumni living in San Francisco, Josh McFarland who founded the company on this domain name.

What’s exciting to see is that after just over a year of ownership Josh has turned this domain name into a major venture-funded business. Of course it’s not really the domain name that made this all possible, this business could have been started on any number of domain names, but I do always find it interesting to see the path a domain took from registration to being the name of a successful startup.

Congratulations to TellApart.com – very cool idea and I’m sure this won’t be the only time we read about this company. Oh, and while the company was founded in Silicon Valley, the domain was made in France 🙂

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