Unomy Acquired by WeWork

Unomy B2B Prospecting spans 6M companies and 50M contacts.
Unomy supports both B2B company and contact prospecting

I was going to address the Unomy acquisition yesterday, but DiscoverOrg acquired RainKing so Unomy was bumped to today.  This is the fourth deal in the news this week (Moody’s acquisition of Bureau van Dijk closed at the beginning of the month and Zoominfo was acquired by PE company Great Hill Partners.

The WeWork acquisition of Unomy is an out of left field deal.  WeWork has been using Unomy for the past year to assist with their sales process.  The firm is looking to integrate Unomy into its workflows to improve both close rates and pipeline velocity for their co-working offices.  WeWork views Unomy as a key dataset for expanding enterprise sales.  While the firm provides office space for companies of all sizes, they would like to expand enterprise sales beyond 30% of their monthly revenue and 20% of their membership.

“Their B2B intelligence layer will be able to help us enrich our data sets when we’re driving sales in the enterprise market,” said WeWork SVP for Digital Product Ron Gura.

For WeWork, Unomy’s platform will become the backbone of our growing internal sales platform. The Unomy software will be integrated into WeWork’s current systems and the Unomy team – now part of our Sales & Marketing and Digital Products groups – will work with our enterprise sales team to help them go to market most effectively and improve their targeting capabilities, conversion rates, and productivity. More broadly, the Unomy team will also help streamline sales processes, build robust sales intelligence infrastructure, and close member prospects for our enterprise and regional sales teams around the world.

  • Ron Gura, WeWork SVP for Digital Product

WeWork will be retaining Unomy’s staff of twenty which will operate out of a Tel Aviv office.

WeWork did not indicate whether Unomy would be available to their tenants as a free or discounted service.  WeWork offers a services store to its tenants with over forty sales and marketing partners.  Amongst the firms with partnership discounts are Salesforce, CrunchBase, and RelPro.  However, WeWork does not plan on continuing the commercial product and will phase out the Unomy service, helping to transfer clients to other sales intelligence solutions.

Unomy’s database covers 17 million global companies and over 100 million executives.

News Alert: DiscoverOrg Acquires RainKing

DO plus RK

Marketing and Sales Intelligence vendor DiscoverOrg acquired RainKing on Friday and announced it this afternoon.  Both firms employ large editorial teams for building and maintaining company and contact datasets and technology platform details (e.g. vendors, products, project plans).  This is the second acquisition of a competitor by DiscoverOrg which bought iProfile two summers ago and quickly integrated iProfile’s international coverage into the DiscoverOrg universe.

According to Inc., RainKing posted 2016 revenue of $33.9 million, up $6.9 million.  Combined, the two firms had 2016 revenue of $88.3 million and a 160% three-year growth rate.  The combined firm has an Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) in excess of $120 million.  DiscoverOrg’s 2016 end-of-year ARR was $71 million.

“The path to rapid revenue growth is paved with highly accurate, actionable, and predictive sales and marketing data, and the combination of RainKing and DiscoverOrg means that our joint customer base has access to an extraordinary portfolio of data, contextual buying insights, and predictive intelligence.  We are building a company that is to sales and marketing intelligence what Salesforce is to CRM.”

  • DiscoverOrg CEO Henry Shuck

The plan is to immediately merge their coverage into a single database delivered via both platforms.  RainKing customers will benefit from deeper coverage of non-IT execs (e.g. sales, marketing, HR, product management), the assignment of Customer Success Managers to their accounts, and access to DiscoverOrg’s TiLT training for SDRs.  DiscoverOrg users will benefit from deeper company and contact coverage, particularly in Europe, along with a larger editorial team building out and maintaining the combined database.  Both groups of customers will benefit from additional datasets in the DiscoverOrg research pipeline including a new one which will be announced in the next sixty days.

RainKing customers will continue on their current platform for at least a year until RainKing functionality is merged with that of DiscoverOrg.

The combined datasets will span over two million contacts and over 100,000 global companies.  As both firms maintain high quality data standards, DiscoverOrg’s 95% accuracy guarantee will be maintained.

The deal is a cash transaction, though DiscoverOrg did not reveal the price.

Schuck provides additional details on his vision for DiscoverOrg and the acquisition in this YouTube video:

GZ Consulting Take

I have been tracking DiscoverOrg and its CEO Henry Schuck for over a decade.  For a long time, I viewed them as a niche offering in the tech space competing against three other firms of roughly the same size (RainKing, iProfile, and SalesQuest).  Due to competition and the cost of editorial resources, I figured they would plateau in their market coverage below that of the Hoover’s editorial dataset of 43,000 companies.  With more exacting editorial standards and three direct competitors, it was difficult to see how the marginal cost of adding and maintaining the 40,000th profile was less than the marginal revenue for the 40,000th profile (Microeconomics 101 would contend that the rational firm would keep building additional profiles until MC = MR).

But I made several errors in my assumptions.  Most importantly, I built in the additional cost of editorially maintained content without properly understanding the value of the data to clients, particularly as DiscoverOrg and RainKing extended their functionality into the marketing department and added light predictive tools such as ranking and scoring of prospects.  Adding marketing and integration tools greatly increased the value of every profile within their databases and allowed clients to distribute the cost of licenses over both sales and marketing departments.  The advent of Big Data and Predictive Analytics also increased the value of high quality company and contact data within CRMs and MAPs.

DiscoverOrg and RainKing quickly outgrew their other competitors resulting in the acquisition of SalesQuest by Avention and iProfile by DiscoverOrg.  While other firms have entered the IT profiling market, they either focus on technographics (e.g. Datanyze, BuiltWith, HG Data) or remain much smaller (e.g. Corporate360).

Finally, the growth of ABM and a focus on top accounts increases the value of a top company database with rich targeting variables such as tech platforms and projects.  “As the market continues to move toward account-based engagement built on a deep understanding of buying centers, investing in high quality data has become even more critical,” opined John Donlon, Sr. Research Director at SiriusDecisions.  “Simply relying on information scraped from the web is not enough to succeed, but leveraging human-verified sales and marketing intelligence gives organizations a distinct advantage in all aspects of revenue generation.”

Initially, the merger is a win-win for the 4,000 DiscoverOrg and RainKing clients, immediately providing deeper company, contact, and technology opportunity coverage for their 70,000 clients.  It also provides a runway from which DiscoverOrg can quickly grow its coverage including RainKing’s new Federal IT dataset.  According to the firm, “Our roadmap is focused on accelerated data collection, deeper practical predictive intelligence, enhanced account-based marketing capabilities, and seamless data optimization and enrichment in CRM, marketing automation, and sales engagement tools.”

While DiscoverOrg could use the merger as an opportunity to raise prices, my guess is that prices will remain stable so that DiscoverOrg can position itself to take on sales and marketing intelligence vendors such as D&B Hoovers, InsideView, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and Zoominfo.  However, if DiscoverOrg is going to become the Salesforce of sales and marketing intelligence, the firm needs to expand its non-IT content beyond executives to include strategic company and industry intelligence.  It is through the marriage of best-in-class executive intelligence (emails, direct dials, responsibilities, bios, social links, and org charts) with financials, filings, news, industry overviews, and SWOTs that DiscoverOrg will be able to go mano a mano with Dun & Bradstreet and LinkedIn in the broader sales intelligence market.  Under this scenario, DiscoverOrg can continue to build out its best-in-class content set while licensing non-core content from other vendors.

This has been a year of significant M&A activity which has reduced the number of sales intelligence datasets on the market.  Beyond DiscoverOrg/RainKing, Avention was acquired by Dun & Bradstreet to become their new D&B Hoovers platform (Dun & Bradstreet content fueling Avention’s functionality and connectors), Moody’s purchased Bureau van Dijk, Zoominfo was bought by PE firm Great Hill Partners, and Unomy was picked up by co-working company WeWork.  The result is the phase out of the old Hoovers platform, uncertainty about Bureau van Dijk’s commitment to its Mint sales platform, and the withdrawal of Unomy and RainKing from the market (they will continue on in the near term, but are no longer being marketed).  The future of Data.com is also in question as Salesforce has failed to announce a path forward for their AppExchange solution now that Dun & Bradstreet content is no longer available to new clients.

Zoominfo Acquired by PE Firm Great Hill Partners

I went on vacation figuring there would be few mid-August product announcements (I was right), but didn’t anticipate M&A activity beyond the Bureau van Dijk acquisition closing (it did on August 10th).  But while I was moving my daughter to North Carolina for graduate school, sales and marketing intelligence database Unomy was acquired by co-working firm WeWork and Zoominfo was acquired by private equity firm Great Hill Partners.  Coincidentally, both deals involve technology relationships between the US and Israel.

“We are enthusiastic about our new investment in ZoomInfo,” said Christopher Gaffney, managing partner at Great Hill Partners. “The company is growing very fast while maintaining a high level of profitability, a rare combination that attests to the quality of its products, data, and employees. In the evolving market of data driven solutions for sales and marketing, we see a significant growth opportunity for ZoomInfo, and trust that with its current track record, strong product innovation and efficient operations they will continue to dominate the market.”

Gaffney will be joining Zoominfo’s Board of Directors.

Like Zoominfo, Great Hill Partners is also Boston-based (technically, they are in the same MSA, if not the same town).  VentureBeat listed the acquisition price at $240 million or roughly 6X trailing revenue.

Zoominfo President Yonatan Stern indicated “it’s time for me to move on . . . . I’m not going to retire, but I want to move the center of my life to Israel.”

“We’re doing really well, and we wanted to pay out some of those early investors,” said a company representative. “They had been in the game for a long time.”

Stern built and sold three successful companies in the Boston area including Bizo and CardScan.  He will continue as the CEO for at least a year before ceding responsibility to his executive team.  Stern will remain on as the Chairman and retains a stake in the firm.

Zoominfo is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts and most of its 200 employees are located there.

“I am very excited about this new chapter in ZoomInfo’s growth story.  The company will continue to focus on delivering value to our rapidly expanding base of thousands of satisfied and loyal customers. We invest heavily in growing and improving our data assets, and in product innovation to deliver a wealth of information where and when our customers need it. We look forward to working with Great Hill Partners to accelerate our growth and maintain competitive advantage.”

  • Yonatan Stern, CEO and Chief Scientist, ZoomInfo.

Zoominfo made the last three Inc. 5000 lists with revenue of $39.8 million in 2016 and a three-year Compound Average Growth Rate of 39%.  The ZoomInfo dataset spans 222 million active and inactive global contacts and 9.3 million companies with firmographics, emails, direct dials, and web mined bios.  Roughly 80 million contacts are for US executives and employees.

Zoominfo began as Eliyon, an online search engine for people in 2000.  The firm struggled for several years as it found itself in competition with better-heeled well known competitors such as Google and LinkedIn.  About five years ago, it pivoted from SalesTech (which it continues to serve along with Executive Recruitment) into MarTech and began building out its Growth Acceleration Platform marketing capabilities (cloud-based enrichment, web forms, segmentation analysis, cluster analysis, and list building).  It also shifted its contact acquisition model from web-based biographic scraping to a community model.  Thus, the firm has had strong growth in both its contact database and revenues.

ZoomInfo Personas provide a multi-dimensional cluster analysis for identifying persona categories and prospecting against them.
ZoomInfo Personas provide a multi-dimensional cluster analysis for identifying persona categories and prospecting against them.

MarTech analyst David Raab noted that the acquisition “continues a trend of marketing technology vendors being purchased by private equity firms, although Great Hill hasn’t been particularly active in the martech space.”

I will cover Unomy’s acquisition tomorrow.

LinkedIn Product Announcements

LinkedIn Marketing Campaign Analytics assist with bid decisions.
LinkedIn Marketing Campaign Analytics assist with bid decisions.

LinkedIn recently began supporting video uploads which begin playing silently when they appear in members’ feeds.  Videos may run up to ten minutes, though LinkedIn recommends lengths of fewer than five minutes.  As with LinkedIn posts, members will also receive analytics on views, likes, shares, and top viewing markets.  The new feature provides B2B marketers with a business focused platform on which they can post corporate announcements, executive thought leadership pieces, and corporate event videos.

Business Insider found that LinkedIn is considered the most trustworthy of the social media platforms with people deeming it best at protecting privacy (55%), least likely to display deceptive content (55%), and safest network for posts and participation (43%).

LinkedIn will also be passing along viewer details such as employer and title for the top viewers.

“Analytics about where video viewers work and what they do present substantial opportunities for networking, recruiting, generating sales leads, and so on. For example, executives can announce a new product or service and then dive into their audience analytics to build up a list of prospects; opinion leaders discussing a pressing trend will have more tools for growing their followers; job-seekers can post videos with an eye on courting recruiters or a company’s attention, or vice versa. All these scenarios pave the way for LinkedIn to upgrade free members onto premium tiers, where more advanced customer relationship management (CRM) tools are available.”

  • Robert Elder, Business Insider, “LinkedIn Video Sharing Could Be a Revelation”

Video should help address user engagement issues.  As of Q3 2016 (their last public quarter), only 23% of users engaged with the platform each month, resulting in an average daily engagement of only two minutes.  Consumer platforms have much higher daily engagement rates with Snapchat at thirty minutes and Facebook at fifty.

In other news, LinkedIn released a Windows 10 live alerts app which displays new messages, trending stories, profile views, and other LinkedIn-related alerts.  The service supports 22 languages.

LinkedIn also released a set of enhancements to its Advertising platform including expanded demographic data, campaign recommendations, and additional metrics.  The Campaign Manager now displays LinkedIn accounts which responded to campaigns.  Website Demographics tracks website visitors via a lightweight JavaScript tag.  Brands can segment website visitors and create campaigns via job title, industry, job seniority, job function, company, company size, location, and country.

Thus, firms can identify unexpected visitor segments.  “With these insights, you can craft new marketing content designed to better resonate with that audience,” LinkedIn stated.

Campaign insights are also displayed as new hover cards which provide budget and performance data for other advertisers and recommends how to boost performance.

New metrics include Sponsored Content shared by members, details on social actions, and better file export and data options.

“The three new advertiser data tools optimize your use of LinkedIn ads, making sure you have maximized social ROI,” observed Francis Rey in SocialBarrel.   “Sponsored Content continues to drive most of the company’s ad revenue. With more than 500 million professional members on the platform, LinkedIn already filters a unique audience for your business. You only need to tap into it and take advantage.”

Rey also noted that “While Facebook is still beyond reach in social ads, the social network caters to all audiences. Meanwhile, LinkedIn focuses on professionals, with an entirely different purpose.”

DiscoverOrg named “Great Place to Work”

DiscoverOrg was named a “Great Place to Work” with very high employee ratings for challenges, atmosphere, rewards, pride, communication, and bosses.  Employees lauded the firm for providing ‘the resources and equipment to do my job” (97%), management competence (95%), and recognition from management for “good work and extra effort” (93%).  Over the past year, the firm has grown employment by 39% to 353 employees and plans to add another 130 headcount in the coming twelve months.  DiscoverOrg has a 24% turnover rate over the past year.

“We built a culture that is based on making sure employees understand how their contribution drives the entire company forward,” said DiscoverOrg CEO Henry Schuck. “It’s not all about ping pong tables, video games, and happy hours. We believe that employees love coming to work at DiscoverOrg because they appreciate seeing their contribution, believe we’re doing important work, and are more fulfilled achieving new goals and learning new skills.”

In other news, DiscoverOrg once again made the Inc. 5000 list with a three-year CAGR of 40%.  This is the seventh consecutive year DiscoverOrg made the list.  2016 revenue hit $59.4 million and is likely to make the list once again this year as their December 2016 ARR clocked in at $71 million.

DiscoverOrg made the Inc. 5000 list for the seventh consecutive year.
DiscoverOrg made the Inc. 5000 list for the seventh consecutive year.

Oceanos Data Services

Oceanos began as a list broker back in 2002, but has since evolved into a B2B contact aggregator and data refinery.  The firm aggregates 97 million active US contact records and retains millions of inactive names and emails to assist with hygiene.  Data is aggregated from eleven vendors and includes social data from FullContact and Pipl.  Oceanos provides data enrichment, TAM analysis, net-new contacts, and a set of data specialists to assist with projects.

Oceanos is self-funded and based in Marshfield, MA.  Annual revenue is around $5 million and is derived from data hygiene services, contact matching, and API-based data licensing.

Each record is assigned a data quality score based upon eleven signals including dead email addresses, drops between files, email naming conventions, and social data verification.  Thus, customers and partners can employ data quality score cutoffs when licensing data.  Data quality scores are also employed as part of a free Data Health Check for customers.

Contacts are mapped to 12 Job Functions, 109 Sub-functions, and 7 Job Levels.  Granularity to the sub-function level assists with strategic targeting.  For example, marketing is mapped to 18 job functions including brand, corporate communications, events, public relations, search engine, and social media.

The Data Health Check report does not directly validate emails and other fields, but employs the Data Quality Scores to provide an overall Data Quality Score and a data accuracy histogram.  The service also provides proposed before and after fill rates across twenty biographic and firmographic variables including address fields, direct and corporate phone, employees, revenue, industry, and major social handles.  The final element of the Data Health Check report is a set of segmentation charts by job level, function, specialty, domain extension, industry, sizing variables, and country.

At the end of the report, there is a data health recommendation where they contrast their Account Based Marketing approach to traditional database augmentation services:

With 0ther health checks, this is the section where they tell you that they have a plethora of contacts for you to purchase, all matching your data profile.  First, the point of this analysis is not to assume that the accounts and contacts currently in your database represent the optimal mix.  In many cases the results demonstrate that there is a percent of bad and misaligned data.  Second, it’s important to note that this is not a quantity game.  In fact the more-the-merrier mindset is the root of many database problems.

We recommend a three step process to effectively cleanse, complete, and grow your database.  This is the ideal approach, but we understand that timing and budget do not always permit the perfect solution.  That being the case, we suggest a conversation to review the health check results and to determine the best prescription based on your needs and goals.

The Cleanse and Complete stages purge bad data, standardize and validate data, and enrich the client’s database.  Cleansing processes the file against FreshAddress, Clickback, internal tables, Whitepages, Pipl and FullContact.  Only once the current data quality issues are addressed does the firm recommend a Contact Gap Analysis for populating accounts with missing strategic contacts.  The analysis also identifies the percentage of contacts that match the target audience criteria (Ideal Customer Profile).  Oceanos contends that best-in-class firms have at least 70% of contacts within their target audience.

House vs. Greenfield Analysis compares target audience coverage for company files vs. Oceanos.
House vs. Greenfield Analysis compares target audience coverage for company files vs. Oceanos.

The Contact Gap Analysis also provides a greenfield (net-new contact analysis) by job function and sub-function and an analysis of Total Addressable Market (TAM) coverage between House and Greenfield contacts.

Integration services include a partner API, used by ReachForce, Engagio, and Integrate, and MAP connectors for Marketo and Eloqua Cleanse and Append

Oceanos President Brian P. Hession identified their differentiators as their unique blend of technology, professional services, and data quality. With data quality being critical to ABM sales and marketing initiatives, the inclusion of real world project fulfillment through their program specialists provides Oceanos with data quality insights that are used to continuously inform and enhance the data quality processes. “We apply both technology and real-world insights to ensure the highest quality of data before we are releasing it. We are incorporating a continuous stream of data quality insights into our code to address the many nuances that a program specialist encounters manually on a dataset,” said Hession.  “The way that Oceanos is going to be successful in the future is if we can assemble an internal contact database that is of the highest quality in the industry.  So there’s been a lot of focus on putting models on top of our contact data.”

InsideView Expert Services

TAM Analysis Visualization Dashboard
TAM Analysis Visualization Dashboard

InsideView announced the launch of a professional services group to offer Expert Services to its customers.  The new Data Concierge service “helps customers navigate the data complexities involved in strategic go-to-market initiatives.”

The Expert Services group is staffed by a team of consultants and engagement managers.  “B2B sales and marketing leaders have asked for our help with operationalizing ABM and other targeted go-to-market initiatives. To meet this need, our services team has evolved from delivering data projects (like clean, email validation, contact append) to more consultative services like Target Market Analytics.  In the future, we anticipate growth in this part of the business to fulfill market demand,” said VP of Product & Solutions Marketing, Joe Andrews.

The first formal service assists ABM customers with analytics around their target market and helps customers define their Total Addressable Market (TAM).  The concierge service includes a data visualization console which “enables customers to more effectively select the right accounts for their account-based marketing (ABM) initiatives.”

“A picture drives a business conversation in real-time as executives can run “what-if” scenarios and make decisions in real-time,” said Andrews.

The visualization tool provides both existing and whitespace segmentation by state, country, industry, and sizing variables.  Data is displayed as both raw counts and TAM penetration percentages.  The product even loads in current account customer data to detail the distribution of current accounts within and outside of the ideal customer profile (ICP).  Users can also drill down on segments providing a more granular view by state, size, industry, etc.

The dashboard may be downloaded as a PDF for sharing with team members or executives.  Users may also download records from the Dashboard.

“We’ve always strived to be a strategic partner for our customers, and many companies underestimate the data complexities involved in go-to-market planning and execution. Now we have an expert services team dedicated to help guide customers step-by-step through the process of defining their ideal customer profile, identifying their TAM, and making sure the right targets are in their database. Our goal is for InsideView Expert Services to be a trusted partner for customers looking for help with any big, thorny data-driven initiative for marketing or sales.”

  • InsideView CRO John Kelly

InsideView noted that many of their customers had captured less than ten percent of their TAM in their database.

“When it’s time to pick accounts, marketing and sales can have different ideas about which should make the list,” wrote Forrester Principal Analyst Laura  Ramos. “Successful marketers always lead with data to identify the characteristics that distinguish “good” opportunities from those selected through feel, anecdote, or intuition.”

While InsideView continues to offer and enhance its sales intelligence products, its emphasis over the past several years has been in launching marketing products such as InsideView Refresh (automated CRM cleansing), InsideView Enrich (real-time lead enrichment), InsideView Target (Marketing Prospecting), and a broad set of MAP and CRM connectors.

InsideView is not the first sales intelligence vendor to provide such services.  Avention has long provided data and professional services and launched the DataVision platform last year for TAM analysis and white space company and contact identification.  Likewise, Zoominfo shifted its emphasis from sales to marketing and launched their Growth Acceleration Platform to assist with ICP identification and net-new prospecting.  While not the first entry in the space, the Expert Services represents a maturing of vendor capabilities in support of marketing departments and ABM projects.  Over the past several years, the sales intelligence vendors have retrained their focus from sales insights via browsers to sales and marketing intelligence services which deliver consultative and automated data services via enterprise platforms, mobile devices, and broad connectors.  This support goes beyond simply offering sales product Build a List functionality to marketing departments.  It includes a set of tools and services for identifying the ideal customer profile, sizing the total addressable market, identifying white space target accounts and contacts (i.e. net-new leads), supporting web forms, automating batch and ongoing enrichment of MAPs and CRMs, prioritizing leads, and assisting with lead-to-account mapping, segmentation analysis, and campaign targeting.  Other ABM features which sales intelligence vendors have begun rolling out include visitor site identification, programmatic marketing, social enrichment, Chrome connectors, ABSD (account based sales development) vendor integrations, and light predictive analytics.

We’ve helped several customers along their ABM journey, and we’ve realized their needs extend beyond company and contact data,” blogged InsideView Product Marketing Manager Jyothsna Durgadoss.  “In order to be successful, they also require data visualization, technical talent, and expert guidance — all of which are critical for effectively identifying ideal targets, uncovering total addressable market, and selecting the right accounts for ABM.”

InsideView noted that many sales and InsideView TAM Surveymarketing departments retain an ad-hoc approach to defining their ABM targets and TAM.  According to InsideView, “At a recent Sirius Decisions Summit, a poll of the keynote audience revealed that more than 50 percent had an ad hoc or nonexistent approach to measuring total addressable market.” (See bar chart on left)