January 6, 2015

SiteSpect, a Boston-based software company that enables large-scale websites to run experiments in an effort to benefit their users, has raised $13 million, marking the first time it's accepted outside investment in the company's decade-long history.

SiteSpect raised the funds from Radnor, Pa.-based private equity firm NewSpring Capital, and will use the money to accelerate growth, hire more employees and expand its presence in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Eric Hansen, founder and CEO of SiteSpect, said the company is already profitable and has been approached by investment firms since 2009.

"We didn't need the money, but the reality was that the climate is quite good for private equity right now ... and we finally decided that we could put some money to work to accelerate our growth," he said in an interview.

The funding comes at a good time, he said.

"It's good to be in this growing testing optimization space. We've been doing this for a while and this is a big validation of the company's unique technology and of the executive team," Hansen said.

Founded in 2004, SiteSpect is a software-as-a-service firm that lets websites run experiments so they can change content, features or functionality and see how the end-users behave as a result. Its customers include Boston-based Wayfair (NYSE: W), Framingham-based Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS), Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), Pennsylvania-based Urban Outfitters and Washington-based Expedia (Nasdaq: EXPE).

The company employs about 90 worldwide and will hire an additional 30 employees this year, with some being hired at the Boston headquarters.

Some of the funding will also be used to open a new office in the San Francisco Bay area specifically for sales and professional services employees.

But SiteSpect doesn't have any plans to relocate its headquarters to the West Coast.

"We're sticking in Boston for the long haul," Hansen said.