Vainu Launches Global Database

Vainu Global Database Attributes

European Sales Intelligence vendor Vainu unveiled its new Global Database this week, a domain-based company dataset spanning over 65 million companies.  The database was built through web-crawling and includes standard firmographics, technographics, Vainu Custom Industry Codes, social links (Facebook and LinkedIn), and web-based insights (keywords and phrases that describe the company). 

Domains are mapped to headquarters locations, with additional locations captured during the site crawl and displayed as part of the profile.  A countries of operation field helps with market entry planning (e.g., which companies in our ICP have operations in specific countries?).  Vainu also captures website languages, helping determine which markets companies are targeting.

“If you’re selling a product or service where the buying decision is made on a business unit/regional level, having this type of data in your CRM is crucial,” argued co-founder Mikko Honkanen.  “It helps your sales reps to pick upsell and cross-sell opportunities and in general, makes it easier to maximize the revenue potential of your customer portfolio.”

“Unfortunately, finding good data for regional offices has been challenging in the past,” continued Honkanen.  “Most companies will only list their main office on their social media accounts, and it’s been difficult for salespeople to manually add office data from company websites to their business systems due to the limitations in the availability of data properties.”

Filtering with Vainu’s proprietary industry codes and associated Confidence Scores.

Vainu offers over 900 proprietary industry codes, including emerging industries such as SaaS and Artificial Intelligence not available in other taxonomies.  When screening, the system defaults to high-level confidence, but users can more broadly search by accepting companies with lower industry tagging confidence.  In addition, users may select one or multiple categories, employ Boolean logic (e.g., SaaS AND Executive Recruitment), and modify their selects with web-based insights.

The crawler and platform UX are English only.

Discrete sizing data is not provided, with companies mapped to five employee ranges.  Vainu employs an “ordinal regression and classification approach” to its model that factors in web traffic, the number of office locations, detected web technologies, mentions of specific key phrases, etc.

Honkanen argues that its methodology may be off by one size band but is unlikely to make large errors.  “Our own internal testing indicates that our model generally outperforms other employee count models, but it truly shines when it comes to minimizing the large, important mistakes.  What that means is that it might be difficult for the model to choose between 51-200 and 201-1,000 if the company has roughly 200 employees, but it has an easy time avoiding big and important mistakes, such as enterprise companies being classified as micro companies.  In other words, our model still makes mistakes, but those mistakes are often small in magnitude, i.e., the model might predict the nearest neighbor.”

Vainu has been building and tuning the database for over a year, helping it distinguish between product sites (e.g., Tide) and company sites (e.g., Proctor & Gamble).  It is growing at 100,000 companies per day and recrawls sites every sixty days.  Users can set up saved searches that identify new companies, upload them to HubSpot, and alert the sales rep.

Company data is available through a web-based platform, API, CSV downloads, and connectors (HubSpot today, with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 on the Global Database roadmap). 

Users can also upload lists of domains for matching and enrichment.  When downloading data, they specify file formats, controlling which fields to download and their order.

As they offer a LinkedIn field, users can quickly create and upload LinkedIn Matched Audiences to the LinkedIn Campaign Manager with high match rates.

The database does not contain contacts, but Honkanen argues that Vainu’s company data is superior to firmographics from other services.

Honkanen provided several reasons for not offering contacts, “We don’t want to be a vendor that provides bulk contact data…We don’t want to promote salespeople to do spam.  Also, it is very challenging to do that in a GDPR-compliant way.”

Instead, the company wants to promote “smart, Account Based Marketing” that supports very specific industry and keyword screening and LinkedIn audience campaigns.  From the LinkedIn Campaign Manager, users can target by persona.  Users can also match against existing HubSpot contacts with pre-existing consent tied to Vainu-enriched firmographics.

“If you’re looking for a combination of high-quality firmographic and website-based insights, we’ve got you covered,” blogged Vainu Marketer Nikolai Bang.  “Our global data offering includes numerous important data points, such as location, industry, company size, technologies, website keywords, and website traffic, that, according to our customers who have tested several offerings, other vendors cannot provide at a similar quality.”

While other databases, including Vainu’s Nordics database, are built around business ids, the global database is built around domains, with the firm capturing multiple locations related to domains.  Business ids are preferred for KYC and credit scenarios as the data is tied to legal ids, but domain data matches well against CRMs and emails.

Vainu contends that domain-keyed databases are better for ICP/TAM analysis as subsidiaries and branches aren’t double counted, providing a more accurate view of market opportunity.  Vainu claims that ICPs built using Vainu Custom Industry codes and website-based insights during beta testing consistently achieved 90% accuracy.

The Global Database resides on a new platform and is available as a distinct product with separate licensing and administration from its Nordic registered-data services.

Pricing starts at €12,000 per annum, with a one-time setup fee starting at €1,000.  Instead of seat-based pricing, Vainu is pricing based on the number of records uploaded or maintained.

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