Sendoso $100M Series C

With travel restricted and many executives continuing to work from home part-time or full time, face-to-face meetings and tradeshows will remain difficult for the foreseeable future. One of the successful workarounds has been offline marketing and e-gifting. Firms such as Sendoso, Alyce, PFL, and Postal have had significant success in rising above the din of digital marketing. I will be posting a set of articles on these firms over the coming days, beginning with Sendoso’s recent funding round.

San Francisco-based e-gifting platform Sendoso closed on a $100 million Series C round and announced plans to open a European headquarters in Dublin.  The Irish office will include a dedicated logistics and supply center to support the firm’s 20,000 global customers.  The new facility supports its multinational customers and expands its opportunities within the EU.  Beyond logistics and warehousing, the Dublin office will host an engineering team, marketers, customer success, and an inside sales team focused on European sales.

The funding round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and raised Sendoso’s total funding to $152.7 million.  Existing investors Oak HC/FT, Struck Capital, Stage 2 Capital, Craft Ventures, Signia Venture Partners, and Felicis Ventures also participated.

“We believe Sendoso offers the most comprehensive end-to-end gifting platform in the market,” said Priya Saiprasad, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.  “Their platform includes a global marketplace of curated vendors, seamless integration with existing tools, global logistics, and deep analytics.  As a result, Sendoso serves as the backbone to enterprises’ engagement programs with prospective customers, existing customers, employees, and other key stakeholders.”

Sendoso Funding Rounds (Source: Crunchbase)

CEO Kris Rudeegraap termed the round a “major milestone” for the firm.  The funds will be deployed to expand its products, services, and global footprint, including the Dublin facilities.

Sendoso sends corporate swag, regular physical gifts, and gift cards on behalf of its sales and marketing clients. In addition, the platform supports gift ordering, logistics, packing, custom packaging, and shipping.  Sendoso is integrated with CRMs, MAPs, and SEPs, including Salesforce, MS Dynamics, HubSpot, Marketo, Outreach, Salesloft, and Groove.  The firm has also partnered with ABM Platforms Terminus, Demandbase, and RollWorks.

Sales reps can order gifts and send follow-on emails to customers and prospects via the Outreach / Sendoso integration.

According to Sendoso, customers enjoy a 55% net increase in new opportunities by “creating authentic connections that show prospects you care.”  The firm suggests that marketers “send a coffee eGift before an event to encourage prospects to stop by your booth.”  Reps can then “show them you’re listening by sending personalized gifts based on their interests and hobbies. If they’re a sports fan, send them a blanket with their favorite team or give them tickets to a game.”

In the absence of face-to-face meetings, e-gifting has helped build relationships and break through the digital noise.  According to HubSpot platform data, virtual selling became significantly more difficult due to a flood of messages during the pandemic.  For example, sales emails spiked 59% in Q2 2020 compared to pre-Covid levels, causing a thirty percent drop in buyer response rates compared to before the pandemic.

“Everyone was stuck at home by themselves, saturated with emails,” said Rudeegraap. “Having a personal connection to sales prospects, employees, and others just meant more.” Sendoso claims that it has the “marketplace selection and logistics precision of Amazon.com,” but with greater personalization.  For example, Sendoso supports handwritten notes, special boxing, and an Amazon partnership that routes Amazon orders to Sendoso for repackaging.

“There are a lot of things we do uniquely in terms of what we have built throughout our software, gifting options, and logistics centre. We really personalize our gifts at scale with handwritten notes, special boxing, and more,” something that Amazon cannot do.  We have built a lot of unique technology and logistics software that would make it hard for Amazon to compete.” He said that one of Sendoso’s integrations is actually with Amazon, so Sendoso users can order through there, but then the gift is first routed to Sendoso to be repackaged in a nicer way before being sent out.”

Sendoso CEO Kris Rudeegraap

Rudeegraap is a former sales executive who found gift-sending valuable but cumbersome.  This experience led him to found Sendoso in 2016 with Chief Alliances Officer Braydan Young.  The firm has fulfilled three million gifts over the past half-decade.

“I was manually packing boxes, grabbing swag, coming up with handwritten notes,” he recalled. “It was inefficient, but it worked so well. So I dreamed up an idea: why not be able to click a button in Salesforce to do this automatically? Sometimes the best company is one that solves a pain point of your own.”

Sendoso has 500 global employees with plans to grow its headcount by thirty percent by the end of the year. Sendoso did not disclose its valuation, but TechCrunch estimated it at $640 million.


Continue to part I of my coverage of Postal.io which closed on a $22 million Series B last week.

ZoomInfo Chorus Integration

Go-to-Market Platform ZoomInfo announced that it completed the first stage of its Chorus Integration after acquiring the Conversational Sales firm in mid-July.

“Since announcing ZoomInfo’s acquisition of Chorus…our team has made great strides in seamlessly making key features of the Chorus platform available to our customers. These integrations will allow sales, marketing, and operations teams to instantly use both ZoomInfo and Chorus to expand their pipelines via a data-first approach that they can’t get with any other platform on the market.”

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck

Conversational Sales functionality has also been added to ZoomInfo’s Engage SEP.  Chorus transcribes and analyzes calls, helping them build strong customer and prospect relationships and be more present during calls. For example, ZoomInfo dialer calls are recorded and stored in Salesforce while Chorus transcribes and analyzes the conversation.

Chorus’ Momentum Insights are displayed in the ZoomInfo platform under the Chorus tab.

Momentum Insights are available in ZoomInfo, Chorus, and Salesforce, delivering call insights wherever the rep is working.  “Combined Chorus and ZoomInfo users can now view conversation and relationship insights within the ZoomInfo platform for better visibility and management of their prospect and customer pipeline,” stated the firm.

The new Chorus tab in ZoomInfo lets revenue teams see with whom they’ve engaged across the account; whether the interactions were via inbound email, outbound email, or meeting; and the most recent interaction.  The Momentum Insights chart shows touchpoints over time with the ability to search by participants and activity type.  Users can drill down on any of the interactions for email or call details.  Audio can be reviewed from within ZoomInfo’s account and contact views.

Users can also drill down on Quick Signals or search by keyword from the Chorus tab, allowing reps to research deal risks, wow moments, negative sentiment, next steps/to-dos, timeline discovery, etc.  Chorus supports hundreds of topics that can be customized.  For example, companies can filter by specific competitors or product feature capabilities.

While the primary use case for Signals is rep account review, managers can use the tool for deal discussions, skill review, and coaching.  Likewise, product managers can broadly investigate customer calls to research specific topics (e.g., product complaints, competitors). 

When the user clicks on a signal, a textual synopsis of the discussion is provided, along with the ability to review that part of the discussion.  These tools are essential for reviewing negative sentiment, pricing discussions, competitors, etc.  Also, call snippets can be extracted for training (e.g., objection handling, competitive parrying, value messaging) or forwarding questions in the voice of the customer to subject matter experts or service departments.

Chorus users also benefit from the integration, with ZoomInfo serving as the reference data set for customer contact intelligence.  ZoomInfo claims that switching to ZoomInfo’s database and matching logic (from Clearbit) resulted in a 33% lift in match rates and a 10X faster load time for contact records in Chorus (150 MS).  Enriched company and contact intelligence include department, job function, seniority level, business email, phones, industry, location, and company.

According to Chorus, ten percent of calls have attendees that were not announced, leaving the rep blind to the role and importance of the additional attendees.  In other cases, a third party is mentioned, but that individual is not in attendance.  In either case, ZoomInfo will surface contact information for these individuals, helping fill out the Buying Committee.  ZoomInfo also recommends personas who are likely Buying Committee members, fostering multi-threaded discussions across the Demand Unit.

“In addition to helping you expand across your deals, you’ll gain a new understanding of which deals are more likely to close, helping improve your forecast accuracy and visibility across your pipeline,” blogged Senior Director of Customer & Product Marketing Sophie Cheng.  “ZoomInfo’s rich company insights like noteworthy scoops (news and events), intent data, and reporting relationships, infused with Chorus’ new Momentum suite will help paint a clearer picture of the entire relationship context like who’s involved in each deal, what’s being discussed, and the likelihood to close.”

Chorus speaking track analysis

Salesloft and the Modern Revenue Workspace (Part II)

Continued from Part I


Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter suggested that the answer to overwhelmed sales reps is not more technology and data but better-designed tools and workflows that address the “Revenue Performance Gap.”  Salesloft’s Modern Revenue Workspace offers

  • “Proper insights at the right time
  • The ability to take action
  • The ability to communicate
  • The coachable moment”

Instead of a series of tools, Salesloft is positioning itself as one of Gartner’s “alpha platforms” that broadly ties together sales workflows and channels.  Gartner noted a set of attributes of these platforms:

– “Alpha Platforms are hyper-aggressive vendors who are broadening capabilities at a breakneck speed. 

– It’s not just M&A, some companies will evolve into alpha platforms by building capabilities. This is totally doable, they just have to be able to work fast.

– Alpha platforms aren’t necessarily buying competitors in the same category – they are buying into adjacent categories.”

Gartner Analysts Craig Rosenberg and Dan Gottlieb, “Sales Tech Mayhem: 39 Observations From a Scorching Hot Tech Market,” Garter Blog (July 28, 2021)

“It’s a time to tell a new story about sales and provide you with a complete, digital go-to-market solutions your sellers and sales teams need,” said Porter.

The Salesloft Platform supports Deals, Conversations, Cadences, a partner ecosystem, administration, and governance

According to Salesloft Chief Product Officer Ellie Fields, this advanced sales platform is “built for sellers.”  It reduces workflow friction, allowing reps to “take faster action” and prioritize their time.  The platform also serves as a centralized engagement hub with the “most critical tools for digital selling,” including email, phone, SMS, meetings, social, etc.

The Modern Revenue Workspace deploys data and AI within the workflow, delivering insights such as the most engaged prospects, deals at risk, and “trends that improve outcomes.”

The Salesloft platform acts as a hub for digital selling, driving alignment across the revenue team.  Along with Deals, Conversations, and Cadences, the platform synchronizes data with a system of record (Salesforce, MS Dynamics, or HubSpot) and supports sales intelligence and workflows with over 115 ecosystem partners.

The new release is based on a set of advanced objectives:

  • Take Action Anywhere – Communications channels are available throughout the platform.  For example, reps can call, email, book a meeting, or send an SMS message within the Deals view.  Digital communications are then captured and analyzed, helping identify “the most engaged prospects, stalled but winnable deals, and trends that help revenue teams adjust course to improve performance.”
  • Know What Changed in Your Deal – Reports identify which opportunities were updated, how long the deal is in the current stage, and whether the close date or amount changed.  For example, progression indicators are now displayed in Pipeline Review and Deals reports.
  • Enterprise Ready Conversations – Salesloft continues to enhance its communications channels with support for Microsoft Teams, native Zoom and WebEx support, improved transcription, and governance enhancements.  The native Zoom support is more reliable than the previous bot tool.  Salesloft also added Consent to Record for MS Teams and will be adding it for other platforms and its dialer.  They also added English language recording announcements with additional language announcements in development.

    The enhanced Conversations transcription engine offers “improved accuracy, searchability, and filtering” that helps managers and sellers “easily identify buyer and market trends and coaching opportunities to set more meetings, build more pipeline, speed deal cycles, and improve the chances of winning more deals.” 

    A new Conversations Summary is delivered to inboxes.
  • Unify Communications across Channels – Conversations in Activity Feed provide updates on important meetings.
  • Understand Outcomes across the Platform – Outcomes in Step Analytics identify which steps are working, helping improve Cadences.
  • Insights Anywhere – A Meetings panel on the home page summarizes pending meetings to assist with call prep.
  • Automate No-Show Workflows – New cadence workflows help reps reschedule missed meetings.  A “partial show” workflow also provides the call hyperlink and summary to those who missed a meeting.

At a high level, the goal is to remove friction in the sales process by reducing the need to jump from app to app.  Instead, reps can engage with shareholders and obtain insights from anywhere in Salesloft.

Future items include SHAKEN/STIRRED registration, native Google Meeting support, and Salesforce Event field logging.

The Salesloft Opportunity Dashboard supports custom coloring for Deal Gaps to highlight deals most at risk.

Salesloft and the Modern Revenue Workspace

Salesloft’s new website sports a Hunter Green palette, new logo, and “Different Story about Sales” from Prince EA.

At this month’s Salesloft Virtual Customer Summit, CEO Kyle Porter and CMO Sydney Sloan unveiled the “Modern Revenue Workspace” to their customers and prospects.  Porter described the Modern Revenue Workspace as “a system where sellers and sales teams come together to collaborate, execute, and serve their customers more than ever before.”

Echoing Gartner’s recent discussion of SalesTech Mayhem, Porter noted that “Sellers and sales teams are moving from lots of tools they HAVE to use to one workspace they LOVE to use.”

“We continue to see a world where sellers are loved by the buyers they serve.  And we’re here to equip these sellers to maximize revenue while delivering their customers with an incredible experience.  This is the mission and vision of Salesloft, and they have not changed one bit, but what has changed is sales is that sales is now digital first, team oriented and about solving problems.  Sales excellence has shifted from being well connected to being well informed and enabled.”

Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter

Salesloft also updated its marketing with new colors (Hunter green, lime, and white), logos, and a simplification of the name from SalesLoft to Salesloft without the capital L.  The company has also begun using a chartreuse period at the end of the logo to emphasize that “All you need is Salesloft.  Period.”

“Our new look shares a story bigger than a sales transaction, and our new wordmark tells that story in a single word. No matter who you serve or what you sell, Salesloft empowers you with everything you need to succeed — full stop,” explains the new site.  “The new fully custom wordmark is a technically sound serif at its core with flashes of humanity in the way the letters connect. Within its forms, each of our brand attributes is exemplified: best-in-class, energetic, and sincere.”

“Helping sellers and sales teams is at the heart of everything we do,” said Sloan. “We have a new look, and we’re telling a new story about sales.  We know to reach their highest potential, sellers need a partner that cares about their aspirations and helps them achieve something greater.  That is Salesloft.”

The new color palette and logos are reflected in a refreshed UX the firm has dubbed the “Modern Revenue Workspace.”  The workspace includes a simplified search bar and icons and greater integration of core functionality across reports and views. In addition, the Activity Feed “has been optimized with advanced filtering, quick actions, pinned notes, and review content directly from your Person and Account pages.”

The Modern Revenue Workspace combines Conversations, Deals, and Cadences into a unified UX that supports reports, recommendations, deal histories, meetings, and actions.

With more than ninety percent of selling activities now digital, sellers are overwhelmed with too many tools and disconnected platforms, channels, and data sets.  There are now over ten thousand SalesTech and MarTech offerings, yet sales reps continue to struggle to meet quotas and manage all of the demand on their time. As a result, they spend the typical day struggling with the basics:

Kyle Porter’s Day in the Life slide for sales reps.

With all of this platform and channel switching, reps are hard-pressed to be value-added professionals, finding it difficult to properly research prospects, dig into buyer pains, research the industry, eat, and spend time with family. 

“The speed and complexity of digital sales is creating chaos,” commented Salesloft VP of Product Management Frank Dale.  Companies have two options for addressing digital chaos: more of the same or adopting a unified Modern Revenue Workspace such as Salesloft.

Dale argued that more of the same is not sustainable. Instead, it requires ever more disconnected tools and additional hours.

“We’re seeing a new class of sales leaders who are choosing to rise up and beat back the chaos and simplify their sellers’ lives – one where they stop just providing more tools to use and focus on giving them the right ones. They know their teams will do more, win more, and ultimately serve their customers better if they give their sellers the tools and experience to thrive.

These sales leaders realize that winning isn’t enough. They know the way you win matters. Success isn’t just hitting your number. It means having a fulfilled life. It means not living in chaos. The selling experience matters – not just to sales people, but also to their buyers.”

Salesloft Product Marketing VP Chris Mills

Continue to Part II with an additional discussion of Gartner’s “SalesTech Mayhem” and Salesloft’s new release.

Market Flash: Artesian Solutions and DueDil Merge

This morning, Artesian Solutions and DueDil announced the merger of their two firms.  Both vendors serve the B2B FinTech/RegTech/SalesTech spaces with products that assist their 700 customers in onboarding clients, performing KYC/AML checks, prospecting, and monitoring customers.

The merger took place six weeks ago and was described as a partnership at the time. However, they held off on the formal announcement until “everything was aligned.”

Artesian/DueDil is currently working on a combined brand identity that reflects the offerings of both companies. For this blog, I am, therefore, referring to them as “the merged company.”

Over eighty percent of their revenue comes from the financial services sector (Banking and Insurance), with products covering the UK, Ireland, US, and Canada.  While Artesian and DueDil serve the same market, they have only eight joint customers, providing significant upsell and cross-sell opportunities for their primary offerings:

  • Engage – Artesian’s Sales Intelligence offering supports prospecting, customer research, financials, Companies House images, industry research, and high precision news tagging and alerting.  Other tools include the Ready mobile app (meeting prep and meeting chat) and CRM connectors for Salesforce and MS Dynamics.
  • Connect – Artesian’s compliance and onboarding platform supports company screening, customer due diligence, and a configurable decision engine that ingests third-party data.  As a compliance and decisioning platform, Connect displays early warning indicators, supports KYC and AML checks, and delivers adverse media alerts.

    Artesian Connect includes a bespoke rules-processing engine that captures client know-how, including business rules, sales preferences, prospecting criteria, and onboarding checks.  Connect supports Artesian’s Premium Data feeds, the B.I.G., and customer-licensed third-party data integrations.
  • B.I.G. – DueDil’s Business Information Graph spans 270 million relationships, including companies, directors, shareholders, and subsidiaries.  Roughly thirty percent of the relationships are curated.  The graph is updated three or four times a day.
  • DueDil APIs – DueDil’s premium API also provides the capability to access B.I.G. data and plug it into existing systems “quickly and seamlessly” to power automated KYC / KYB and onboarding journeys.
Artesian supports sales intelligence (Engage) and FSI onboarding and compliance (Connect).

The companies have complementary capabilities.  Artesian Solutions offers mobile tools, CRM connectors, business events, a rules engine, and web applications.  Conversely, DueDil has focused on a set of APIs and relationship data.

“Our new company will be able to make strategic investments for sustainable and profitable growth, remaining agile to new opportunities whilst keeping focused on leveraging our newly combined strength to drive greater value for our customers.”

Artesian+DueDil CEO Andrew Yates

“If you can imagine the Big Information Graph, the APIs with their published endpoints that make them really quick and effective to integrate, a rules engine, and then a host of really powerful frontline applications, and middle-office applications, that’s what we mean by end-to-end,” explained Yates to GZ Consulting.  “There’s a market in the FinTech space, which is ‘just give me the data as it is’ as a service prepackaged with rules to do things like digital onboarding, straight-through processing, and automated underwriting. And then at the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got people-centric relationship management.  People not only want to get access to the insight and the data, but they need the applications that link all of that together and link that back to the customer.”

“We’ve been very effective at helping our customers find the right customers, and more laterally, using things like screening technology and forensic analysis with the rules engine,” continued Yates.  “DueDil has been focused on the onboarding journey and the remediation journey, so onboard them faster and keep them for life.”

There are two ways that Artesian adds value to commodity data, said the merged company’s COO Justin Fitzpatrick, who formerly led DueDil.  The first is by creating “proprietary, derived data” such as relationship connections.  The second is to embed “business logic around those data points” to answer “business-critical questions.”

“We can provide data that helps them check that they can onboard the customer. But at the end of the day, ideally, our clients want to be able to shortcut that process and know whether they can safely onboard that customer,” continued Fitzpatrick.  “And so that’s where we started developing things like our integrated KYB endpoint, which pulls together the different bits of data, runs logic and rules over it, and spits out a sort of Pass/Fail/More type answer so that people can kind of have direct responses to the business questions that they’re asking.  Being able to layer Artesian Connect’s programmable rules engine on the API was a really attractive proposition for us.”

The firms have competed against each other for around a decade but saw less of each other over the past three or four years as they focused on meeting complementary market requirements.  While DueDil focused on its API strategy and B.I.G., Artesian focused on event triggers, Artesian Connect’s rules engine, and workflow tools.

“Over the past decade, DueDil and Artesian have delivered some of the most innovative and successful technology solutions, tackling the financial service market’s biggest client lifecycle challenges.  We will continue to draw on this experience together to push the boundaries even further.”

Artesian+DueDil COO Justin Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick argued that official registries such as the UK’s Companies House “do a great job” as “electronic filing cabinets to make sure that people file their accounts on time.” Still, they were never designed to connect the dots between “company information, director  information, and shareholders.” 

Fitzpatrick argues that registry data is, therefore, a commodity, with the company adding value through disambiguating the filings, matching data, identifying relationships, facilitating onboarding, client monitoring, and delivering client and prospect intelligence via an API.  For example, they disambiguate about two million director profiles in the UK, ensuring that all John Smith listings are correctly matched, and that name variants are properly managed.

The merged company will continue to focus on Directors and relationships but will not become a contacts database with emails and phone numbers akin to ZoomInfo or Cognism. 

“We absolutely will cover that from a regulatory standpoint,” said Yates.  “Directors, officers, non-exec directors, how those people link together, entities linked together.  These are absolutely critical questions that regulated industries that are trying to engage with customers need answers to.”

CEO Andrew Yates will head the merged company with Justin Fitzpatrick assuming the role of COO.  The broader leadership team contains individuals from both companies.  The new firm has between seventy and eighty employees, “and that number will be growing.”  The combined turnover is in “double-digit millions” of pounds.

The strategy is to focus on the “multiple 1000s” of FinTech, financial services, insurance, and insurance broking institutions” that require “access to our combined capabilities.”  Not only are there significant upsell and cross-sell opportunities, but “the actual number of institutions relative to the total addressable market…is still very large,” said Yates.

“When you bring the data smarts in at the next level, you start to be able to really give people a laser-guided focus in not only who the right company is, but exactly how they should engage,” expanded Yates.  “If we can forensically analyze the data and combine it with rules, we can provide an engagement signal, which is essentially a next best action or recommendation as to what the individual should do – it goes way beyond giving them a piece of killer insight or a set of financials or some short animation around the structure and the way they’re organized and the ultimate beneficiary.”

Customers will also benefit from the “much more integrated experience” that unites the frontline teams and back office with a shared set of data, insights, and APIs.  The goal is to “find the right customers, onboard them faster, and keep them for life.”

Marketing graphic from the Better-Business-Faster website.

Yates is promising that Artesian Customers will have access to the B.I.G. and DueDil’s APIs “in a matter of weeks.”

“What’s emerging is a new company that allows more functionality, more value, and more freedom for our clients,” stated Yates.  Artesian Customers will “have one of the most extensive and accurate views of every UK and Irish company at their fingertips, in real-time, and available instantly.”

Venture Capital investors Notion Capital and Octopus Ventures backed the merger, stating that “the UK is one of the leading financial centres in the world, supported by a technology ecosystem built around trust, security, and innovation.  The combination of Artesian and DueDil creates an exciting growth company chasing an enormous opportunity in the FinTech market.  We are thrilled to play our part in supporting them on that journey.”

Artesian is coming off of a “strong” H1 marked by profitable, double-digit growth.  It added three significant customers, including two banks.  Its gross retention rate was 94%, and its net retention was over 100%.  Artesian has a track record of efficient revenue operations.  Its LTV/CAC ratio (Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost) was 9X last year, indicating an efficient sales engine with low churn.


I interviewed Andrew Yates back in 2018. He discussed technological disruption, AI, and data insights.

Revenue Grid Series A

Revenue Grid Pipeline Analytics displayed within Salesforce

Revenue Grid which rebranded last year from Invisible.io following its pivot into revenue intelligence, closed on a $20 million Series A to expand its AI-based revenue insights and guided selling recommendations.  The round was led by W3 Capital, with participation from ICU Ventures and existing investors.

Funds will be dedicated to scaling company growth with investments in sales, marketing, and R&D.  The firm plans to continue innovating around guided selling, revenue intelligence, and best practices research.

“Revenue Grid is ahead of the market in intelligent, guided selling, and sales automation,” said Steve Wadsworth, Partner at W3 Capital. “What has impressed us the most about Revenue Grid is their level of technology and product advancement and their innate understanding of the Sales and Revenue functions within organizations. Revenue Grid has already developed the solutions that the market is just now starting to look for.”

Revenue Grid offers a set of revenue opportunity, engagement, and risk signals that spur sales reps to take action.  It also automates sales routines, supports playbooks, fosters best practices, recommends modifications to the sales process, and measures the impact of recommended changes.

Core Revenue Grid capabilities include CRM data auto-capture, pipeline inspection, health checks, deal guidance, and revenue signals.

Revenue Grid ingested over one billion “communications items” to train its AI, including emails, meetings, and calls.  Communications are indexed by industry and sales process types and correlated against success rates.  Other features include sentiment analysis, sales opportunity summarization, and detecting demand unit members that have not been associated with an opportunity or added to the CRM.

“Revenue Grid can track objections and suggest the right mitigation on different levels of the sales funnel — from lead outreach to late opportunity stages. [It can] understand a communication type like ’email ping pong,’ ‘on hold,’ ‘no authority or power,’ and commitments tracking like whether email needs replying or whether a specific date for follow up or commitment was mentioned.”

CEO Vlad Voskresensky

“It is our mission to give companies an unbeatable competitive advantage by completely digitizing their sales processes, and right now we are in the perfect position to expand globally and help companies transform their sales process,” said Voskresensky.  “We are bringing smarter AI to sales, but it goes beyond just that.  It is quite literally shifting the sales tech stack from the ‘view mode’ to the ‘do mode.’”

While the round is a Series A, Revenue Grid is well established with 1,200 customers, including Hilton, Western Union, Moody’s, Trip Advisor, Red Cross, and Robert Half.  Over 800,000 sales professionals rely on Revenue Grid.  Through OEM deals, it supports an additional 20,000 companies.

The firm claims that its platform generates 21% faster revenue per account for its clients and offers a 250% ROI.

Revenue Grid is growing “seventy to eighty percent year-to-year,” said Voskresensky.  The firm has a 96% retention rate and net retention over 100%.

Revenue Grid has a team of 150 and plans to add another 50 headcount by 2022.

“[This] whole round is an equity investment. It’s actually our first round, prior to which we were bootstrapped and profitable,” Voskresensky said.  “Honestly, when the pandemic hit, we didn’t know what it would mean to our business, but it was actually a period of growth.  Our products became invaluable for sales reps as they all moved to working remotely, and it helped them stay focused, organized, and efficient.”

Revenue Grid also announced that highly regarded industry veteran Bob Stutz joined their board.  Stutz is the President of Customer Experience at SAP and previously served as CEO of Marketing Cloud, Chief Analytics Officer at Salesforce, and Corporate Vice President for Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM.   Stutz will assist with the product roadmap, revenue growth, and market expansion.

“Revenue Grid is a very interesting company as they look at optimizing sales processes in a very innovative way, and I am very excited to join their board to support them in growing their business on a global scale,” commented Stutz.

Revenue Grid did not announce its current valuation.

Revenue Grid Guided Selling Recommendations displayed in Salesforce.

Drift the Latest RevTech Unicorn

Drift Founders Elias Torres and David Cancel.

Drift became the latest RevTech unicorn following a strategic equity investment by Vista Equity Partners.  The firm did not disclose the size of the investment nor its valuation, only that the valuation exceeded $1 billion.  Vista will hold a majority stake in Drift when the transaction closes in Q4.

“In partnership with Vista, Drift will continue to invest in its customers’ success while expanding its product leadership, scaling globally and bringing Conversational Commerce to more B2B businesses,” announced the firm.

Vista exclusively invests in enterprise software, data, and technology-enabled businesses.

Cancel told TechCrunch that Drift’s goal wasn’t to create a unicorn but that he and founder Elias Torres are proud to be examples for other Latino entrepreneurs:

“Drift is now part of the less than 1% of #latinx founded companies to ever achieve that milestone [$1B+ valuation].

Elias Torres ⚡️ and I believe we have a responsibility to pay it forward, to inspire other people, who are often marginalized and don’t believe they can break the glass ceiling to know that they too can do it. So today we want our #latinx community to know that together we have taken another step forward in our fight for an equitable future.”

Drift CEO David Cancel

Drift, which offers “conversational commerce for B2B,” has over 50,000 sales and marketing customer teams on its Conversational Sales platform.  Drift integrates chat, email, video, and artificial intelligence to power conversations on the website and with sales reps.

75% of its customers were described as mid-market enterprise clients by Cancel.  Customers include ServiceNow, Okta, Grubhub, Mindbody, Adobe, Ellie May, and Snowflake.

“Over the next decade messaging will continue to eat the world and that in order to survive and compete, enterprise businesses will need to flip the traditional model, remove friction, and put customers first. The businesses that win will be the ones that make it simpler for customers to buy from them…

Our bet is that conversations will transform the entire B2B revenue function, and with a partner like Vista, who has helped to transform and grow companies like Marketo and Wrike in recent years, we are excited for what’s next.”

Drift CEO David Cancel

Drift continues on its hypergrowth path, growing ARR 70% in 2020 with a similar growth trajectory this year. However, the company is not yet profitable as it is focused on growth. 

“Our purpose as a company remains simple and consistent: Build a platform that makes it simpler for customers to buy from you. We have an opportunity to bring learnings from the B2C buyer experience to the enterprise and introduce Conversational Commerce as a new B2B category,” said Drift CEO David Cancel.  “Given its extensive experience investing in next-generation SaaS companies, we believe Vista is the best partner to help Drift – and our customers – further these efforts.  I am excited to work with Vista’s team of investors, operators, and technologists who will help us fulfill our ambitious vision and lead the Conversational Commerce category for decades to come.”

Cancel has his eye on taking the company public, with Vista providing a “clear path” to an IPO.

“As a next-generation SaaS company with a strong leadership team, differentiated platform, and passionate customer base, Drift is uniquely qualified and well-positioned to define and lead this new market of Conversational Commerce,” said Monti Saroya, co-head of the Flagship Fund and senior managing director at Vista. “It is a privilege to partner with talented founders like David and Elias, and we look forward to supporting them and the entire Drift team to help advance their vision to remove the friction from business buying, and in turn, create tremendous value for customers as Drift’s hypergrowth continues to accelerate.”

Boston-based Drift slowed its employment growth rate with the advent of the pandemic but accelerated its hiring in 2021, with an increase of 151 employees since December. In addition, the sales team has grown 33% over the past six months to 136. 

Drift accelerated its headcount growth in 2021 after slowing it at the advent of the pandemic (Source: LinkedIn)

The company appears to have started a consulting organization, growing from 2 to 18 consultants over the past year.  In August, the firm hired Ryan Slinkard as their VP of Professional Services.

RevTech is a field with several minority immigrant founders of unicorns. I have recently also covered Manny Medina (Outreach CEO; Ecuador; $4.4 billion Valuation) and Tope Awotona (Calendly; Nigeria; $3B+ Valuation). Awotona was recently named a board member of SalesLoft, another RevTech unicorn.

Vainu Workflow Triggers

European Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor Vainu released Workflow Triggers for target account monitoring.  Workflows leverage recent enhancements to the company’s firmographics, user interface, and CRM integrations.

Workflows are available for Salesforce, Dynamics 365 Online, HubSpot, and PipeDrive and support Account, Contact, Lead, Opportunity, and Task records.

Workflows setup requires four steps:

  1. Select the target group for tracking
  2. Define the filter options such as signal events (e.g., funding, new hires, M&A), data changes (e.g., revenue, employees, address), or new companies in the target group.  Over 70 triggers events are available.  Data changes may be triggered by any licensed data field.
  3. Choose the destination (CRM, Slack, email, or webhook).
  4. Set context including the number and frequency of triggers, additional information, and notes.  “For example, if you’re monitoring accounts to launch account-based marketing campaigns, you can update a data field in your CRM object with custom text saying ‘ABM campaign Q3/2021’,” wrote Head of Marketing Aamer Hasu.

Sales Operations can map data fields with custom text, providing context to data updates and workflows.

Workflow Triggers identify “any significant changes in real-time and use them to trigger workflows across your business systems,” said Hasu. “They’re perfect for nudging prospects over the line and discovering sales opportunities you never knew existed.”

Vainu data covers Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, France (beta), and the United Kingdom (beta).  Users may license one or multiple countries.

One gap in the offering is the lack of support for Sales Engagement Platforms (SEP) such as SalesLoft and Outreach.  SEP functionality is a logical extension to Workflow Triggers. While SEPs are less established in Europe than in North America, both companies have opened EMEA sales and support offices in London.

Vainu is offering fourteen-day free trials to the service.  Email as a trigger destination is available for all users, but CRM integrations are sold separately.

SalesLoft Hits $100M ARR (Part III)

Continued from [Part I] [Part II]


CEO Kyle Porter launched SalesLoft nearly ten years ago and the SEP Cadence product (its flagship) in late 2014.  To recharge and reflect, he took a sabbatical earlier this summer to his family’s tangerine grove.

“One of my biggest conclusions was that I’m given this thing another ten years. So I’m committed to running this business and outlasting and out-executing and out-innovating others in the market.

Another one of those conclusions was [that] we don’t really compare ourselves to the competition. We focus entirely on our customers’ needs, and delivering them the best digital sales combination and workspaces that ever existed…I see all of these companies as different than SalesLoft. We’re very unique. We’re unique in the way that we show care for our customers and each other. We’re unique in the way we innovate and bring new ideas to market and trailblaze the path for digital sales. We’re unique in how we combine these multiple different new, impactful digital solutions into one workspace for our customers.”

SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter (GZ Consulting Interview 8/20/21)

Porter is “exploring multiple options” to remain an independent business and continue growing SalesLoft’s market presence.  Doing so entails getting “better and better over time at serving our customers [and] at innovating in the marketplace.”

SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter

The firm is also preparing for a future IPO.  “We’re going down the road to build a public business prior to being a public business,” commented Porter.  “And so we’re putting that governance in place [and] those financial controls in place.  You see the independent board member being added. We’ve got an opportunity to continue that with an audit committee chair and another independent board member.”

“I’d love this to be a public business,” continued Porter.  “And if that’s what’s right for the company, that’s what will happen.”

Porter is also proud of his ownership structure, saying that SalesLoft has the “cleanest cap table” and fewest investors amongst companies in the space that have reached scale.  The presence of Jason Green of Emergence Capital and Jeff Horing of Insight Capital also gives him confidence.  Porter views them as “invest and hold” partners.  Both serve on SalesLoft’s Board.

Porter has a great deal of respect for ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck, whom he met at Dreamforce in 2013.  “It’s amazing to see what they’ve done. He’s an inspiration and role model for us, definitely a different business with data at the core.  We no longer do data.  And they’ve moved into the application space. But this is a giant market, and [in] some of the areas they play, we’ve got more experience and capabilities and history and lessons learned and edge case analysis that we’ve been through. And in some of the areas, primarily the data side, he’s got more experience and capabilities. So, we’re excited to see what they’re doing. I love reading his quarterly reports and learning what’s on his mind.  He and I stay in touch regularly. It’s a joy to be in the category with people you love and respect.”

Porter would like to return to live conferences but expects to initially host “smaller, more intimate settings” such as a fifty-person CRM summit or a sales operations leader event.  Later on, Porter looks forward to hosting large events again, such as their 2,000-person Atlanta Rainmaker conference held in 2019.

Last month’s InStereo acquisition is going “incredibly well.”  The acquisition of one of its service partners brought SalesLoft “capabilities to serve our most critical enterprise customers.”  The purchase was prompted by feedback from their joint customers who told Porter “how amazing” the InStereo team was in delivering “critical experiences to help them push the boundaries of modern revenue.” 

Furthermore, “there were just such good relationships” between the companies that it allowed everybody to “hit the ground running once the transaction closed. SalesLoft employment has grown 50% since the beginning of the pandemic and now stands at 615 headcount.

RelPro – IBISWorld Partnership

Sales Intelligence vendor RelPro announced a partnership with well-regarded industry research vendor IBISWorld to deliver an integrated solution for commercial banks.  The joint offering, delivered via the RelPro platform, assists with meeting preparation, due diligence, and industry research.  Ten commercial banks have already deployed the integrated solution, including three of the top five.

RelPro serves business development and relationship management professionals in Financial Services (banking, insurance, wealth management, private equity) and Professional Services (legal, and advisory).  RelPro users are often industry generalists who serve SMBs across many industries.  IBISWorld provides broad industry research across sectors along with economic and environmental changes.

RelPro is a traditional sales intelligence service with company and executive content sourced from seventeen partners.  Data partners include ZoomInfo, Dun & Bradstreet, BoardEx, GuideStar, Crunchbase, and HG Insights.  RelPro users build prospecting lists, perform account planning, identify additional contacts at key accounts, and, with the IBISWorld partnership, research industries based upon each company’s industry codes.

IBISWorld industry intelligence is linked by industry codes to company profiles in RelPro.

“RelPro has always been a client-driven solution, focused on the needs of business development and relationship management professionals in financial services and professional services, so when our clients asked us to integrate with a new intelligence source we listened!” said RelPro CEO Martin Wise, “The value of industry insights has been so evident as our users have pivoted and navigated through the shifting economic landscape, preparing for meetings with prospects and clients.  We are thrilled to be partnering with IBISWorld and delivering our combined capabilities to mutual clients.”

RelPro said that the partnered solution is consistent with its mission “to deliver valuable insights and time-saving efficiencies to business development and relationship management professionals” across banking and professional services.

The partnership began a year ago when a top five commercial bank requested an integrated solution.  The firms polished the integration over the past year, with the announcement synced to the April launch of My IBISWorld for Banking.

My IBISWorld for Banking includes tailored industry tools, data, and analysis to support banking professionals throughout the entire credit process.  Expanded content includes enhanced financial ratios, localized statistics “to understand concentration and major market data,” role-based views, risk snapshots that highlight industry risks and trends, and targeted meeting prep questions.

“Recently, we’ve seen a shift towards banking professionals working more closely with other functions, creating cross-department synergies in this newly-remote world.  We’ve also seen a great need for hyper-local data so banks can better serve small businesses during these unprecedented times. My IBISWorld for Banking fosters this cross-departmental work and helps banks support their customers.”

Carmen McKinney, Chief Operations Officer and Head of Customer Success at IBISWorld

“Being a part of our clients’ workflows has been a continuous goal for us at IBISWorld,” said Jason Falkowitz, SVP, IBISWorld Industry Research Division.  “From the launch of our My IBISWorld for Banking platform and our robust API offering to our new partnership with RelPro, we are committed to offering world-class industry information in client-led formats. Combining IBISWorld’s industry intelligence with RelPro’s focus on targeting companies and decision-makers, mutual clients will be best positioned to win and retain commercial relationships.”

IBISWorld content is delivered within the RelPro solution, with single sign-on supported.  The partners initially focused on their set of joint customers with contracts written on separate paper.  There is no surcharge for the cross-product authorization and functionality.

RelPro company profile screen showing links to IBISWorld Research on primary NAICS / SIC Codes.

Last year, RelPro released a similar solution with Vertical IQ.  Both Vertical IQ and IBISWorld provide industry profiles and economic data, with Vertical IQs content written in plain English for cross-industry generalists, while IBISWorld offers a more formal format.

“RelPro now integrates with the two leading independent sources of industry research,” Wise told GZ Consulting.  “It is for clients to decide which of these two solutions best meets their needs, and RelPro can deliver an integrated and time-saving user experience to either / both sources. This new partnership announcement is consistent with RelPro’s mission to deliver valuable insights and time-saving efficiencies to business development and relationship management professionals in banking and other financial and professional services sectors.” RelPro revenues (bookings) grew 40% in 2020, and the company expects that growth in 2021 will be at least that much