Why Episerver Is Buying Optimizely

By Dan Anderson ● September 7, 2020
  • Digital experience platform company Episerver announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Optimizely. These are the details.

Digital experience platform company Episerver announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Optimizely, which is a leader in experimentation and optimization. And this combination creates the most advanced digital experience platform to optimize every customer touchpoint across the entire user journey.

Online shoppers are no longer expecting simple websites. Now they are looking for highly personalized and differentiated experiences along their omnichannel journey. And what digital teams need is the ability to understand how their actions are impacting their customers so they can act more intentionally.

Combining Episerver’s ability to create digital experiences through content and commerce with Optimizely’s ability to experiment and optimize across touchpoints empowers marketers to build experiences that get smarter over time. And the combination creates a unique system of differentiation to:

1.) Inspire Innovation — Running better experiments across front-end layouts and back-end logic with easy-to-use tailored recommendations, drives increased revenue, productivity, and cost savings.

2.) Increase Agility — Gaining real-time answers accelerates collaboration and creates more responsive customer experiences for improved lead generation and faster time to market.

3.) Improve Outcomes — Measuring outcomes of different options allows digital teams to orchestrate unique digital experiences for each customer, at scale – driving transformation, customer engagement, and brand differentiation.

Optimizely is known as the leader of the fast-growing experimentation category with over 1,000 customers and more than 10 years of innovation. And its proven at-scale platform has run over 2 million experiments to eliminate guesswork across the user journey and optimize the customer experience for some of the world’s most prominent brands like Peloton, Nike, and Uber.

Subject to customary closing conditions and attainment of regulatory clearances, the acquisition is expected to close in Q4 2020. And until such closing, the companies will continue to operate independently.

Episerver is a privately held portfolio company of Insight Partners, purchased in 2018 at $1.16 billion. And they acted as the strategic advisor and sponsor for Episerver’s acquisition of Optimizely as well as the company’s 2019 acquisitions of B2B commerce leader Insite Software and analytics and personalization provider Idio. 

With Optimizely, Insight Partners further advances Episerver’s market-leading product. In the same manner, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to Optimizely.


“For nearly three decades, Episerver has helped businesses create content-driven digital experiences for our customers. Today, we are announcing the most significant transformation in our company’s history – one that will set a new industry standard for digital experience platforms.

“The breakthrough combination of Episerver and Optimizely will transform digital experience creation and optimization, enabling digital teams to replace guesswork with evidence-based outcomes. This, along with our shared mission to empower growing companies to compete digitally, makes me thrilled to welcome the Optimizely team to Episerver, as we prove there are no extraordinary experiences without experimentation.”

— Alexander Atzberger, CEO of Episerver

“Winning in today’s digital world requires delivering the best and most personalized digital experiences. Episerver and Optimizely have a shared vision to optimize every customer touchpoint through the use of experimentation. Together, we will enable our customers to do more testing, in more places, with greater ease than ever before. We believe this combination will make experimentation a mainstream business best practice and an essential part of competing and winning customers in an online world. With the combination of creation and optimization, we look forward to building a new community of digital experience leaders.”

— Jay Larson, CEO of Optimizely