Crunchbase Series D

Crunchbase reporting on its funding rounds in Crunchbase Pro.

Funding intelligence vendor Crunchbase closed on a $50 million Series D led by Alignment Growth, with OMERS Ventures, Mayfield, and Emergence Capital also participating.  The oversubscribed round raised total funding to $106.5 million.

“Investors we spoke with echoed the trends we’re seeing in Crunchbase data: We are in the middle of one of the most challenging times for startups to raise,” blogged Crunchbase CEO Jager McConnell.  “So, the fact that we had more firms trying to invest in us than we were even looking for is a huge vote of confidence in our company, brand, and the products we’ve built.”

Jager noted that the firm has moved beyond funding data for PE and VC firms to a broader information platform that supports sales, recruiting, finance, and business development professionals.  I would add Competitive and Market Intelligence professionals to their user list as I regularly use Crunchbase and Owler for deal intelligence.

Crunchbase began as a funding database at TechCrunch but was spun out as an independent organization in 2015 and has evolved into a sales intelligence service.  The Crunchbase Pro offering supports company discovery, qualification, tracking, Salesforce syncing, and engagement (via contact data and email templates) at a low price ($49 per month billed annually).

Crunchbase Pro Build-a-List

“As difficult economic conditions impact more companies, knowing whether a target account is on the upswing or not gives prospectors the power to focus outreach on decision-makers with buying power,” McConnell said.  “Our tools encourage account-based selling, which encourages deal-makers to prioritize their prospecting efforts based on the companies they should be contacting rather than the individuals.  This is the opposite approach to ‘spray and pray,’ which relies on massive contact lists and leads to the kind of spammy outreach that no one likes.”

Recent enhancements include territory filters, diversity flags, machine-learning company recommendations, a Chrome extension, and email alerts for priority accounts, lists, and saved searches.  They also added a contacts database and email templates.

Crunchbase has retained its focus on emerging (funded) companies.  This focus is both an advantage and disadvantage.  Emerging companies are often the fastest growing businesses with expanding needs and fewer incumbent vendors that need to be displaced.  They are also more open to cutting-edge technology, encourage quick decision-making, and are less risk averse.  Conversely, they represent a relatively small percentage of the overall economy, deals are smaller (but with significant upside at renewal), and they are more subject to economic volatility.

Another advantage of focusing on emerging companies is that the leading sales intelligence databases have weak coverage of these firms.  When companies collect or ingest data on global companies of all sizes, they lack the editorial bandwidth to deliver detailed information on emerging companies.  Specialist databases such as Crunchbase offer funding details, acquisition histories, editorially-written business descriptions, and more accurate sizing data.

“The Crunchbase SaaS platform combines rich and proprietary company data with direct access to decision-makers within a single intuitive interface—at compelling price points—making it a powerful tool for driving ROI across a variety of use cases, from sales to recruiting and more,” stated new Crunchbase Board member Alex Iosilevich from Alignment Growth.  “We expect that Crunchbase will continue to gain accelerated industry adoption and are excited to support the company’s growth momentum alongside strong participation from the existing investor group.”

Crunchbase continues to grow its product and data.  It supports 75 million unique annual users and over 60,000 customers.  Furthermore, SaaS products drove a 5x year-over-year increase in new recurring revenue in Q1 2022.

“We took a step back from rapid growth in favor of a more measured, balanced approach,” stated McConnell, who noted that the firm has focused on capital-efficient growth.  The firm dialed back its Burn Multiple from 3 ($3 spent to acquire $1 in new ARR) in 2019 to 0.22 in H1.

“The recent onslaught of down rounds and mass layoffs from companies who very recently hit unicorn status shows how outsized burn rates can be hidden behind oversized funding rounds, covering up the reality of weak business fundamentals,” McConnell said.  “I’m especially proud of the fact that we have been able to generate growth while keeping our burn rate in check.  In the first half of this year, we drove $9 million net new ARR at only $2 million burn — that’s best in class according to Bessemer’s efficiency benchmarks and puts us on the path to profitability…We plan to double our business-to-business software ARR this year, ending around $38 million in ARR just for this customer segment.”

Iosilevech argued that Crunchbase is well-positioned for ongoing growth and does not expect follow-on rounds.  “They’re managing the business in a capital-efficient way so that the capital that they raise will really be the last round they need before a major milestone in the company’s history, whether it’s an IPO or something else.”

Funds will be deployed towards additional headcount and expanding platform functionality, beginning with a HubSpot connector.  The firm is also looking to expand its machine-learning recommendations for sales, expand its data insights, and add usage tracking dashboards “to help customers track efficacy of activities on Crunchbase, along with the number of opportunities and ARR available to them.”

Crunchbase has grown to 220 employees with a remote-first operational model.  It added seventy staff during the first half of the year and is aiming to add another fifty-five employees before year’s end.  It was cash flow positive in Q1.

Crunchbase did not disclose its new valuation figures.

Demandbase Unified CRM View

ABX Platform Demandbase announced that it is the first sales intelligence and account engagement platform to integrate both services jointly into CRM.  Demandbase offers a single view that combines first-party and behavioral data from the Demandbase ABX cloud and third-party datasets (firmographics, technographics, contact data, and news & social insights) from the Demandbase Sales Intelligence Cloud.

“Doing so gives B2B sellers access to all the information they need to spot and close larger deals faster,” stated the firm.  “This first of its kind application guides sales teams to know where and when to engage with the right accounts and decision-makers, leading to higher win rates, shorter sales cycles, and bigger deals — boosting CRM adoption in the process.”

Demandbase brought firmographic, contact, and technographics databases in-house following the May 2021 acquisitions of InsideView and DemandMatrixIntent data includes first and third-party intelligence, including Surging Intent, Demandbase Keyword Intent, Campaign Response, and Web Page Visits.

Revenue Operations can also select intent data from Bombora and G2, which are processed through the ABX platform’s predictive models.

The Demandbase Timeline provides current and historical intent data.

The Demandbase platform also supports activity timelines, product and competitor intent datasets, and persona-based engagement heatmaps, helping revenue teams assess account potential and determine where accounts stand in the buyer’s journey.

Heatmaps may be viewed by engagement, people, or journeys.  Both preset and custom options are available.  In addition, users can drill down to details by clicking on a row or column header.

The SFDC Heatmap is presented at the Account level with Engagement Minutes (Demandbase’s contact engagement model) displayed within the heatmap matrix.

Sales users can utilize this heatmap to find champions at an org via the highest engagement and understand with which roles they need to communicate.

The Demandbase Heatmap is available with both preset and customizable views.

The platform also supports long-running InsideView for Salesforce functionality, including

  • Company and contact profiles
  • Prospect list building for companies and contacts
  • Contact searching at accounts
  • A news viewer that combines company news, social posts, and blogs
  • Corporate family trees
  • Add to CRM with duplicate checking
  • CRM “stare and compare” updates

According to Demandbase, the unified UI lets customers “consolidate their tech stack, replacing ABM, sales intelligence, advertising, and other vendors with Demandbase One, the Smarter Go-To-Market solution.”

“The beauty of this unified sales UI is that all the data a salesperson needs is readily accessible, right in the CRM where they’re already working.  It’s revolutionary for sales teams,” said Demandbase CRO Allison Metcalfe.  “No more toggling between systems or wasting time in generic outreach that doesn’t drive sales.  Instead, they’ll have deeper insights and greater visibility into prospective deals, gaining knowledge about what buyers are doing around the web, what they engage with, who to contact (and how), and what the most relevant messaging is.  The actionability, productivity, and efficacy of such functionality is practically limitless.”

In other news, Demandbase was named to the Fast Company “100 Best Workplaces for Innovators.” The magazine noted that Demandbase reinvests 20% of its revenue in R&D.

HG Insights Platform 2.0

The Opportunity Generator assembles targeted lists based on fitness and intent.

Market Intelligence vendor HG Insights released version 2.0 of its platform to deliver the “actionable insights” technology vendors need to better “understand their markets in-depth, make decisions, and Go-To-Market (GTM) with precision and confidence.”  Platform 2.0 supports technographics, install data, spend data, twelve million company profiles, contract intelligence, and intent signals for nine million global companies.

“The HG Insights Platform goes beyond simple high-level market reports to provide business leaders with actionable insights to make successful Go-To-Market decisions,” said Robert Fox, CTO of HG Insights.  “Customers are already using HG Insights to allocate resources more effectively, prioritize the right product initiatives, and give their sales and marketing teams the account details they need to pursue the best opportunities—and now we are building on these capabilities with Platform 2.0.  I am excited at the speed of innovation the new platform launch unlocks as HG Insights maintains itself as the market leader of technology intelligence.”

HG Platform 2.0 supports modules for company profiling, marketing intelligence, contextual intent, and opportunity generation.

Platform 2.0 offers self-serviceable intent insights where marketers identify accounts with the highest current propensity to buy based on market signals.  Intent Insights begins by matching each vendor’s Ideal Customer Profile and intent topics to define a set of target accounts.  Account scoring then ranks the target accounts based on a combination of intent signals and market fit (firmographics and technographics).

Marketers can then employ IT spend intelligence to prioritize accounts by budgets, construct equitable sales territories, and analyze market spending trends.

The platform is supported by a “ground up” architectural refresh that improves HG Insights’ ability to scale up its data and insights delivery.  In Q4, the firm plans to release a new API and native Salesforce integration served by the new platform.

Other platform features include improved account scoring, saved search lists, account match logic enhancements, self-serve customer reporting, and UX enhancements.

Install data enhancements include company hierarchy mapping and “new trending features that capture intensity trending over time.”

“These improvements give a more dynamic experience to our technology install data and can answer a broader variety of questions about product usage,” said Darcy Moss, Director of Product Marketing.  “Data coverage and precision have improved—you are now able to profile installs at a global, country, and city/state level.  Intensity Trending and Momentum deliver an improved understanding of technology usage.”

HG Insights, which began as a technographics vendor, now supports modules for opportunity generation, market intelligence, account profiling, and contextual intent.  The Market Intelligence module, released in early 2021, helps marketing and strategy analysts size markets by IT spend, tech installs, firmographics, geography, company size, etc.  It also lets them:

  • Analyze vendor penetration and identify threats, trends, and opportunities
  • Allocate resources and territories more efficiently
  • Identify untapped market potential with whitespace analysis

Contextual Intent, an add-on service, combines technology install data and buyer intent signals “to create a new scoring and filtering experience for laser-focused company targeting.”  HG Insights processes two billion weekly intent signals spanning over 120 million verified tech installs.  Its technology taxonomy support over 14,000 products, solutions, and services.

Contextual intent helps identify prospects researching or evaluating a product that is

  • Not detected in a current install
  • In a category where HG Insights has detected the installation of another product from the same vendor
  • A potential displacement of a competitor’s offering

HG Insights expanded its IT spend and intelligence insights when it acquired Intricately back in March.  Intricately’s proprietary sensor network gathers cloud product adoption, usage, and spend data for seven million global businesses across 21,000 cloud offerings.  Data are collected from over 150 global Internet points of presence, helping Intricately map digital infrastructure.  Its insights are delivered via an API, integrations, data snapshots, and web applications.

Intent Activity identifies the signal strength, signal location, and buyer’s journey stage.