DueDil Posted Strong 2016 Turnover Growth; Positions Itself for European Expansion

DueDil's new credit risk filter allows users to filter prospects by the degree of trade credit risk.
DueDil’s new credit risk filter allows users to filter prospects by the degree of trade credit risk.

European private company information platform DueDil recently filed its 2016 financials with Companies House. Revenue increased from £1.21M to £2.25M. The startup continues to run in deficit (£6.17M), but that should be anticipated for an information services startup that is rapidly expanding its content and functionality. DueDil averaged 75 employees last year, up from 46 in 2015.

DueDil’s losses expanded last year as it pursued the European company intelligence market which it believes is becoming more hospitable.

“In the last 12 months, our competitive landscape has changed dramatically, Bureau Van Dijk got sold for $3.3 billion to Moody’s, and Dun & Bradstreet divested its Benelux division. This, along with our much better unit economics, gave our board and management team a clear signal to grow the product and the team and start to compete directly with them. The higher costs are the result of growing our product coverage from the UK and Ireland to pan-European, soon to cover 100 million+ companies.”

  • CEO Damian Kimmelman

Because subscription services are ratable, growth in revenue lags billings. Although enterprise sales grew 100% last year, much of this growth won’t show up in the top line until 2017. DueDil had its best quarter in Q1 and then grew 60% in Q2.

“Over the last 6 months, we have grown sales 5% week over week and are continuing to do so,” said Kimmelman.

To fund growth until its next equity round, the firm recently issued a £900,000 convertible note and plans to issue a £1.1 million convertible note. “I think you can assume that we wouldn’t be so bullish on a convertible if there hadn’t been an immediate liquidity event in sight,” Kimmelman told Business Insider. “I am not trying to be coy but that is all I can say.”


In product news, DueDil added Credit Risk and Ownership filters to its list building module. Sales and Marketing can employ the credit risk filter to remove prospects that are unlikely to pass credit checks or to target higher risk companies. The filter can also be used by credit risk and procurement teams during the onboarding process allowing them to streamline the processing of low-risk companies.

Ownership search filters assist with targeting firms with concentrated shareholdings which are “ripe for takeover.”  New Ownership screens include Total Shareholding Count, Individuals Count, Companies Count, and Shareholder Name.

Along with credit scores and ownership filters, DueDil supports a broad set of financial screening filters spanning 40 million companies in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Benelux, Norway, and Sweden with additional European countries in queue.

DueDil added four new shareholder filters for identifying firms "ripe for takeover."
DueDil added four new shareholder filters for identifying firms “ripe for takeover.”

Form Follows Function

InsideView users can quickly target additional executives by function and level.
InsideView users can quickly target additional executives by function and level.

One of the key aphorisms in architecture is that form follows function.  The quote, attributed to Louis Sullivan, holds that a building’s design should be based upon the underlying purpose of the building, not driven by ornamentation.  Twentieth century design took this maxim to heart with similar thinking spreading through industrial and software design.

In the case of information services, a focus on flashy design or “bells and whistles” can be a distraction if the underlying service fails to meet the basic informational and workflow needs of its users.  One of the great things about Google is that it returns high precision results from a few words entered into a search box.  It was this simplicity that allowed them to grab and hold two-thirds of the search engine market share, leaving Bing and Yahoo! to pick up the scraps.

A well-designed sales intelligence solution supports multiple sales and support workflows.  These users span multiple functions and departments (e.g. sales, sales directors, sales operations, sales support, service departments, business development, and marketing).  Furthermore, there are multiple types of sales reps within larger organizations so your sales intelligence platform needs to be flexible enough to meet differing information requirements and workflows.

Thus, tactical sales reps need to quickly locate contact information and a few prospect qualification variables.  They want to make sure that the contact they are about to call is in their territory and doesn’t work at a subsidiary of a named account.

Conversely, a strategic rep has broad information requirements around companies, company structures, executives, and key events.  Strategic reps are focused on who to call, when to call, and what to say.  Sales triggers are not only a flashing green light that a prospect is more likely to buy, but conversational material for catching the prospect’s attention and signaling that the rep has prepared for the call.  Likewise, SWOT reports, biographies, industry market research reports provide insights into client interests and needs.

Named account reps sell only to a few firms so need a deep understanding of their target accounts.  They need to be apprised of key events at an organization that could positively or negatively impact their pipeline.  Furthermore, named account reps are looking for additional contacts and locations for extending their corporate footprint.   Thus, searching across a company for specific job functions and then reviewing subsidiary profiles and bios is an important task in growing the account.  Named account reps also benefit from PDF exportability so they can review the latest information about their client or prospect while traveling.  These reports can also be shared with other members of the sales and support team.

Territory reps and financial services relationship managers need to be apprised of sales triggers within their territory, quickly research and qualify companies, and dig deeper on larger opportunities.  Furthermore, as they generally sell cross-industry, they  also benefit from industry overviews from vendors such as First Research.  These primers are written in plain English and provide a set of Q&A sections by topic and job function.

First Research reports, found in Dun & Bradstreet products, provide a series of Q&A topics by C-level functions, opportunities, and challenges.
First Research reports, found in Dun & Bradstreet products, provide a series of Q&A topics by C-level functions, opportunities, and challenges.

Most reps work within a CRM, so review the capabilities of sales intelligence CRM connectors.  The tighter the integration the better.  If your CRM is your system of record, you want the sales reps working within the CRM on desktops and mobile devices.  Services that bounce the user between a web browser and the CRM are less effective than those that provide most or all of their content and functionality within Salesforce.com, MS Dynamics, or other CRMs.  Also, look for “stare and compare” updating of records, batch and real-time synchronization of data, custom fields, and duplicate checking.

Many sales intelligence services also support the marketing department.  Standardizing the two functions on a common vendor helps reduce cost and channel conflict.  It also provides a basis for successful ABM programs which cross the two departments.  Several years ago, sales intelligence vendors only offered prospecting to marketing, but now they also support web forms, real-time and batch enrichment of leads, lead-to-account mapping, marketing automation connectors, lead scoring, segmentation analysis, Ideal Customer Profiling, TAM analysis, and net-new leads and contacts.  A few also offer standalone services for the marketing department such as programmatic advertising, visitor id, multi-channel marketing, and SEO.

When evaluating sales intelligence solutions, you should understand the workflows and information requirements of each of your sales groups along with other potential beneficiaries of the service.  Don’t evaluate simply on counts and features, but on the information needs and workflows of your various sales and marketing teams.

Creditsafe Expanded Country Coverage

CreditSafe Global Coverage Map
Creditsafe Global Coverage Map

Commercial credit and business profile vendor Creditsafe expanded its coverage footprint to over 100 countries with the addition of sixteen Middle Eastern and North African countries.  Creditsafe is now able to provide real-time reports for 240 million companies.  Key new countries include Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon.  In 2016, the firm added Southeast Asian coverage along with 40 million Chinese company profiles.

“This mark’s the single largest and most significant database expansion we have done to date.  And, it completes our global offering.  No one in the marketplace offers such a comprehensive solution supported by an incredible portfolio of analytics,” said Matthew Debbage, CEO of Creditsafe USA and Asia.  “Not only have we added critical financial data on thousands of public and private companies to our platform, but we are providing insight on many located in Middle East and Africa which have proven to be complex economies in the past. We can now provide International Database Reports on millions of companies instantly online. No one else in the market offers the level of data that we do.”

Based on its coverage map, the most significant gaps are in Latin America (e.g. Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica) and Africa (e.g. South Africa, Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia).

Creditsafe processes over one million daily updates collected from over 200 sources.  Furthermore, the firm claims that 99.9% of report requests are delivered in real-time.

Last year, Creditsafe launched US and UK sales intelligence services under the Sales Joe brand.  The product provides prospecting, look-a-like customers, light SFA tools (e.g. notes, dialer support, meeting scheduling), task tracking, and deal opportunity forecasting.

Sales Joe Deal Opportunities assist with pipeline tracking.
Sales Joe Deal Opportunities assist with pipeline tracking.

“The big development during the year was launching our new lead management tool, Sales Joe, which enables businesses to build effective sales campaigns using company information gathered from Creditsafe’s extensive database,” said Chris Robertson, global sales director at Creditsafe Group.  “Our positive results have been fueled by strong customer retention, an increase in new business, and a further expansion and strengthening in our international offering to UK customers.”

Creditsafe revenue has grown 28% over the past twelve months.  The firm maintains 18 offices and supports 200,000 users each day.  Globally, Creditsafe employs 1,500 headcount.

Creditsafe USA posted $12.8 million in 2016 revenue with a three-year CAGR of 75%.  Creditsafe opened US operations in 2012 and services 14,000 US customers out of its Lehigh, PA office.  “Over the past several years, we have focused incredibly hard on building our business and brand in the US,” said Debbage.

Creditsafe UK also posted strong growth with 2016 revenues up 12% to £35.5 million and pre-tax profits of £8.1 million.

“More growth is expected in 2017, our 20th anniversary year,” added Robertson.  “The growing sales force and the new products and technology being introduced this year will ensure our momentum continues and we further set ourselves apart from our competitors.”

Quora: Why is My Information on Zoominfo?

I recently answered two posts on this question.  As Zoominfo data collection is opt-out versus opt-in, executives are sometimes concerned about what is being collected and how they can opt out.  Here is my post:


ZoomInfo collects data about US and international businesspeople. Information is gathered via web crawling (for bio data) and email plugins that collect signature information such as name, title, company, direct dial, and email. This information is then available to its customers who use it primarily for sales, marketing, and executive recruitment. Customer use cases include prospecting lists for B2B email and telemarketing campaigns, data hygiene (i.e. confirming you are still at a company and that your contact information is accurate), and call prep prior to telemarketing or recruitment calls.

Here is an example of how they provide additional information about you to LinkedIn users via their ReachOut Chrome plug-in:

The ZoomInfo ReachOut Chrome connector provides just-in-time company and executive intelligence from corporate websites and LinkedIn.
The ZoomInfo ReachOut Chrome connector provides just-in-time company and executive intelligence from corporate websites and LinkedIn.

ZoomInfo does not collect any consumer or credit information. Thus, they have no lifestyle data, political affiliations, donations, income estimates, age, family details, credit histories, personal emails, mobile phone numbers, or housing data. They focus strictly on your professional persona.

ZoomInfo’s privacy rules and how to opt out of their database can be found on their website.

If you would like to know more about ZoomInfo, I cover them on my blog.

Orbis: Analysis of Global Financial Disclosure Rates

Orbis Coverage Table
Orbis Coverage Table

I came across an interesting analysis of financial disclosure rates by regions around the world.  The blog, written by Mark Bodnar, a librarian at Simon Fraser University (British Colombia), observed limited financial disclosure in North America and much of AsiaPac, but broader financial availability in Europe.

Of the 18 million North American companies covered, only about 35,000 have detailed financials.  That’s about 0.19%. Those would be from the relatively rare cohort of publicly traded companies we mentioned earlier.  The other 99.81% of the companies are privately held, and in North America that means that they are under almost no obligation to reveal their financials.

Compare that to Western Europe, where about 10 million of their 30 million companies in the database have detailed financials…

Oceania (incorporating AUS, NZ, and many wonderful island nations) is also down around 0.2%, largely because there are detailed financials for only about 0.15% of the companies based in the biggest country in the region, Australia.

While none of this would be a surprise to people in the business information sector, it was a good way to surface the information for students and non-experts.  European countries have a long history of requiring non-public (aka non-quoted or non-listed) companies to publicly file annual returns.  The depth of filing varies by country and size of company, but Europe has a deep set of financials available to assist with credit and supplier risk analysis, prospecting, company research, KYC/AML, and market analytics.

In the US, disclosure is limited to public companies, non-profits, and financial services companies.  Of these, only public company financials, which are filed via EDGAR (SEC), are fully transparent with few accessing state insurance filings, IRS 990 filings (non-profits), or the FDIC (banks).

I would take the author’s analysis of countries with deepest coverage of financials with a grain of salt.  It is likely that many of the countries with the highest disclosure rates have limited coverage of companies not subject to financial disclosure.  Furthermore, some of the filing regimes do not require financials for smaller companies.

 

 

 

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.

Bureau van Dijk Orbis Enhancements

Bureau van Dijk announced a series of enhancements to their Orbis company research and financial analysis platform.  New or enhanced features include financial transparency, customization, batch search, improved navigation, expanded searching, and the addition of Moody’s research.

As ever, we’re creating, incorporating and rolling out features and functionality on the new Orbis interface all the time.  Each enhancement is intended to help make sure that you can take full advantage of our rich, structured data in order to carry out your research processes as efficiently and effectively as possible.

  • Bureau van Dijk CMO Louise Green

Bureau van Dijk added custom variables that are available in books (reports), chapters, an searches.  Users may also create custom books and chapters.

BvD Orbis improved-navigation-of-booksUI enhancements include improved book navigation so that users can move between chapters more easily; batch searching of company names by pasting a list of company names into the name search; expanded searching of ownership structures; free-text searching of notes; and enhanced viewing and filtering of corporate directors and advisors.  Directors are now sorted by department and filterable by role, seniority, and data source.

Users can now click on financial values to see the underlying calculations.

New premium content includes research from Moody’s Analytics spanning 9,000 company and 7,500 industry reports.  Both public and private companies and banks are covered.  The reports may be purchased using BvD credits on a pay-per-view basis.  In September, Moody’s rating announcements will be added to the service.  Other company research sources include MarketLine, Morningstar, and GlobalData.  MarketLine also provides industry market research to Bureau van Dijk products.

Finally, Bureau van Dijk added a new tax explorer premium service which flags “entities in low-tax jurisdictions.”

Bureau van Dijk also released a set of enhancements in April including original documents from aRMadillo.


Moody’s is in the midst of acquiring Bureau van Dijk.  The transaction is expected to close this month.  Moody’s CEO Raymond McDaniel said he “looks forward to further extending Moody’s position as a leader in risk data and analytical insight.”  The firm has already received EU Merger Regulation approval from the European Commission.