Success Story of Semrush - Online Visibility Management SaaS Platform

Bharath Bharath
Jan 20, 2022 11 min read
Success Story of Semrush - Online Visibility Management SaaS Platform

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Semrush.

In the era where everything has become online, locating their product or site on top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) would always be a priority for any webmaster. However, in order to improve online visibility, one has to enhance their site for SEO, backlinks, and many other improvements.

The demand for SEO, keywords and competitor analysis was almost nil before Googleโ€™s arrival. Only after the mid-1990s, these concepts were born along with Google, the demand of which skyrocketed in a very short time. Today, the SEO industry has a whopping $80 Billion market valuation. Furthermore, it is expected to show a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.6% by 2025. Similarly, keyword research, competitor analysis, SMM, and various other marketing tools have also gained huge market demand in the past two decades.

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This increase in demand has increased the number of SaaS tools to provide the relevant services that today's market demands. Of all those available options, Semrush stands to be the crown of Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Established in 2008, Semrush helps its users to improve their websiteโ€™s ranking by offering support in SEO, PPC, Keyword & Competitive research, SMM, and content marketing services.

Semrush - Company Highlights

Company Name Semrush
Headquarters Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Industry Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Founders Oleg Shchegolev, Dmitri Melnikov
Founded 2008
Funding Raised $40 Million
Revenue $124.88 Million (FY20)
Website Semrush.com
About Semrush

Semrush - About
Semrush - Latest News
Semrush - Industry
Semrush - Founders and Team
Semrush - Startup Story
Semrush - Mission and Vision
Semrush - Name and Logo
Semrush - Business Model
Semrush - Revenue Model
Semrush - Challenges Faced
Semrush - Funding and Investors
Semrush - Acquisitions
Semrush - Online and Social Media Presence
Semrush - Awards and Achievements
Semrush - Competitors
Semrush - Growth
Semrush - FAQs

Semrush - About

Semrush is a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that provides solutions to SEO, Keyword Research, Competitor Analysis, PPC, Content, and Social Media Management. It is an all-in-one tool that helps the user to improve their websiteโ€™s online visibility. Semrush also provides marketing insights on paid advertising and competitor analysis, as well as, extends its support to content management and marketing.

Oleg Shchegolev and Dmitry Melnikov established Semrush in 2008. This SaaS platform commenced its operations with 2 tools and a few friends as their initial customers. Today, Semrush has more than 50 tools that had served over 7 Million users in around 143 countries so far. The company went public on March 24, 2021, through Initial Public Offering (IPO). Semrush IPOs were listed and traded on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

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Semrush - Latest News

January 20, 2021 - Semrush acquires popular marketing and SEO training platform Backlinko. This acquisition would not just add 500K in monthly traffic but a wide array of trusted resources for training the world of digital marketers today in SEO and content marketing. The co-founder of Semrush is thrilled with this deal. Here's what he shares through his Linkedin handle:

Brian Dean on LinkedIn: Semrush Acquires Backlinko.com, Adds 500K in Monthly Traffic | 315 comments
BIG NEWS: I sold Backlinko Needless to say, Iโ€™m thrilled! Semrush is the perfect company to take Backlinko to the next level. Backstory: About 3 months... 315 comments on LinkedIn

November 17, 2021 - Semrush filed a registration with the US Securities Exchange Commission, for Proposed Public Offering. It is said that the proceeds from the shares will be invested in the development of marketing and sales activities.

November 9, 2021 - Semrush announced its 3rd Quarter results as of September 30, 2021. It has reported a revenue of $49.3 Million and it has gone up 53% year on year.

Semrush - Industry

Semrush belongs to the industry of Search Engine Marketing (SEM), a subset of the broader industry of Digital Marketing. Search Engine Marketing is a kind of marketing that promotes the websiteโ€™s online visibility on a Search Engine Results Page. It can be done through paid advertisements or by incorporating SEO. Search Engine Optimization is done by rewriting or fine-tuning the websiteโ€™s content to promote them in SERP.

The SEM industry has been growing day by day since Googleโ€™s entry into the market in the mid-1990s. As of September 2021, the SEM market is mostly occupied by Google with a share of 86.64%. Other search engines like Bing and Yahoo have a market share of 7% and 2.75% respectively, as stated by Statista.


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Semrush - Founders and Team

Oleg Shchegolev - Semrush Founder
Oleg Shchegolev - Semrush Founder

Oleg Shchegolev

Oleg Shchegolev and Dmitry Melnikov are the founders of Semrush, who share a friendship of over 30 years. They started building SEO tools together in 2006. Later, Semrush revolutionized the market and are now on their way to conquering the industry.

Oleg Shchegolev

An alumnus of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, from where he completed his Bachelor's degree in Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance, Oleg started his career as an SEO Manager at Strider. He then served as the COCEO of tirnet.ru before co-founding efind.ru. After being aligned with the previous company for over 3 and a half years, Oleg joined SEOQuake, where he served as the Co-founder and CEO. He is presently serving as the Co-founder and CEO of SEOQuake and SEMRush.

Dmitry Melnikov

Dmitry Melnikov is another Co-founder of Semrush, who also serves as the COO of the company. After completing his Bachelor's from SPBETU, LEEI, Dmitry started serving as a Board Member of efind.ru. He then served as a CEO at tirnet.ru. After leaving the job at tirnet, Melnikov joined as a co-founder of the SEOQuake Team and took the role of COO. He is currently serving the role at SEOQuake along with being a COO of SEMRush. ย  ย 

The key people of Semrush are:

  • Oleg Shchegolev - Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Dmitry Melnikov - Chief Operating Officer (COO)
  • Evgeny E Fetisov - Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  • Eugene Levin - Chief Strategy Officer (CSO)

The employee strength of SEMRush was last reported to be 979 in April 2021.

Semrush- Startup Story

Oleg Shchegolev and Dmitry Melnikov, in 2006, developed a tool for personal use, to look out for SEOs and other online strategies. The tool was initially named Seodigger. Later, in 2007, it was renamed to SEOquake. Shchegolev and Melnikov shared their tool with friends, friends of friends and this went on to build a good network for SEOquake. Meanwhile, they kept adding new features and tools to their platform, which further increased their popularity.

Owing to the reception, both the co-founders decided to take the business further to the market. With a brand image already built, they founded the company in 2008, with a new name Semrush. They further focussed on product development and expansion. Today Semrush has grown to serve users with more than 50 tools and leads the SEM market around the world.

Semrush - Mission and Vision

Semrushโ€™s mission is to give a better and transparent online competition for users. They wanted to help their users in developing and improving their website in every possible way.

Their vision is to create time for professionals and creators to concentrate on their business and creativity. The work of improving the user's online visibility will be taken care of by Semrush is what the company aims at. Semrush operates with such a mission and vision that helps them grow along with its users.

Semrush Logo
Semrush Logo

Semrush revealed its new logo on December 11, 2020, along with a new visual identity. The company stuck to its core fireball element in the new logo, like their old one. But they have made it look simple and more attractive. Semrush reasoned their logo as โ€œthe creative spark that ignites the engine of marketingโ€.

Semrush has always used hot orange and dark indigo as its primary color. Now it has included a few more vibrant colors to improve the visual experience for users. The name of the company was also changed from SEMrush to Semrush in December 2020.

Semrush - Business Model

Semrush contains a business model that offers its services for advertising, social media, SEO, content marketing, and market research, all integrated into one tool. Here are the in-depth activities provided under each category of services:

Advertising - Semrush offers the best keyword choices, manages the cost of advertising, and analyses the ad copies of competitors.

Social Media - It helps the users in scheduling and automatically posting content, analyzing oneโ€™s performance and that of competitors, and managing social ads.

SEO - Potential keyword research can be done along with SEO audits, analyzing backlinks, and tracking SERP.

Content Marketing - You can find the best topics for your content that might attract your audience. Semrush audits your content and helps it improve for SEO.

Market Research - Analysis and give ideas to increase traffic for your website and provides reports regarding competitorsโ€™ promotion strategy.

Semrush - Revenue Model

Semrush has reported overall revenue of $124.88 Million in the year 2020. Their 3rd quarter revenue for 2021 has increased 53% year on year. Semrush raises its revenue by offering its tools and services for a price that is charged from users. Semrush has a free plan available that comes with limited functionality.

Semrush revenue model consists of three plans out of which, the first two plans come with a free trial for 7 days. With an annual commitment, a discount of up to 17% is offered on the monthly plans listed below:

  • Pro - $119.95/month
  • Guru - $229.95/month
  • Business - $449.95/month

Semrush - Challenges Faced

Though Semrush provides a better service than their competitors, they have faced a few challenges in the past and are expecting more in the future.

  • Semrush has been facing continuous net losses since 2016. They have incurred a net loss of $10.2 Million in 2019 and $7 Million in 2020. The company accumulated a deficit of $ 35.8 Million. Semrush is further uncertain about its profitability in the future.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed the company into a new challenge. It has increased the growth of Semrush rapidly and this pushed them to increase the employee count to manage the growth. But the travel restrictions have made it difficult for them to provide training and other facilities for the new employees. Thus Semrush faces a challenge in managing its growth effectively.

Semrush - Funding and Investors

Semrush has raised a fund of $40 Million through a Venture round on April 24, 2018. It was the only fundraising activity, other than its IPO, carried out by Semrush. This round was led by 3 investors namely, Headline, Greycroft, and Siguler Guff & Company.

Semrush - Acquisitions

Semrush acquired two companies to date. It acquired the famous Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) training app Backlinko on January 20, 2022. The popular training platform boasts of pulling in 500K visits a month, as per the reports of December 2021, which it will be adding to the leading online visibility management Saas platform along with its prized resources that are elementary for training purposes for the world of digital marketers of today. This acquisition would be a great help towards building the marketing education that Semrush is currently focussing on. The Co-founder of Semrush and CEO at Exploding Topics, Brian Dean is thrilled with this acquisition and stated that he would continue to be associated with Backlinko on a part-time basis, as part of the agreement with Semrush.

Semrush previously acquired Prowly PR Software, a public and media relations SaaS company on September 16, 2020. The price of this acquisition remains undisclosed by both companies. Semrush has made no acquisitions other than Prowly PR Software, over the years so far.

Acquiree Name Acquired Date Price
Backlinko January 20, 2022 -
Prowly PR Software September 16, 2020 -

Semrush - Online and Social Media Presence

Semrush has an active profile on all social platforms. Particularly, their Twitter handle is extremely active. The team responds to every query and grievance raised on Semrush, by people on social media. Their tweets and posts are quite interactive and interesting. In addition to responding to users, they make posts on their achievements, new products and updates, and simplified guidelines. Semrushโ€™s followers count:

Twitter : 170K Followers
LinkedIn : 192K Followers
Instagram : 78.9K Followers
Pinterest : 11.3K Followers
Youtube : 91.2K Subscribers

Semrush - Awards and Achievements

Semrush has been awarded as the Best SEO Software by various continents. The following are the international awards that recognized Semrush over the years:

  • European Search Awards, 2017 &2020
  • Global Search Awards, 2021
  • MENA Search Awards, 2019
  • US Search Awards, 2019
  • UK Search Awards, 2019, 2021
  • Interactive Marketing Awards, 2019
  • Dutch Marketing Awards, 2018
  • SEMY, 2018

Semrush - Competitors

Though Semrush is a supreme tool, it has few notable competitors along the track to race with. Moz and Ahrefs prove to be worthy competitors in terms of SEO, Keyword Research, Backlinks, and Competitor Analysis. Here are some of the top competitors of Semrush:

  • Moz
  • Ahrefs
  • Serpstat
  • SpyFu
  • SE Ranking
  • KWFinder

Semrush - Growth

Semrush is a startup that commenced in 2008, has grown to hold the crown of the SEO market, and is trusted by popular brands like Tesla, Apple, Amazon, IBM, etc. The company has run its business without raising funds since its formation, except for the $40 Million raised in 2018. This exhibits the level of hard work, achievements, and quality, their products and services have for the customers.

With 79,000 paid customers across 143 countries in the world, Semrush had hit a revenue of $49.3 Million in 2021 (quarterly results up to the third quarter in September). The Semrush revenue tops the table when compared to its competitors. The rapid growth in recent years has encouraged Semrush to go public. The company listed its IPO in NYSE on 24th March 2021 and managed to raise $140 Million on the first day.

In addition to its financial growth, Semrush has developed and upgraded its tools and services. Theyโ€™ve grown to be the fastest Backlink Crawler, crawling 25 Billion URLs per day. Furthermore, Semrush also enlarged its data warehouse with 808 Million Domains, 43 Trillion Backlinks, and 20 Billion Keywords so far.

Semrush had more than 20% growth in both free and paid users using the platform, between 2019 and 2020. Their revenue for the 3rd quarter of 2021 was $49.3 million which is up by 53% year on year. This growing customer base results in increased revenue, which further implies the growth of the company.

Semrush - FAQs

What is Semrush?

Semrush is a SaaS platform that provides solutions to SEO, Keyword Research, Competitor Analysis, PPC, Content, and Social Media Management.

How many employees does Semrush have?

Semrush has more than 980 employees working in their 7 offices across the world.

Who are the founders of Semrush?

Oleg Shchegolev and Dmitry Melnikov are the founders of Semrush.

What is the Market Valuation of Semrush?

The market value of Semrush is approximately $3.3 Billion.

What is Semrush widely used for?

Semrush is an all-in-one SaaS tool widely used for improving online visibility. Semrush services include:

  • SEO
  • Keyword Research
  • PPC
  • SMM
  • Competitive Research
  • Content Marketing
  • Marketing Insights

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