DiscoverOrg Acquires Zoominfo

DiscoverOrg and Zoominfo Acquisition History
DiscoverOrg and Zoominfo Acquisition History

Industry consolidation continues apace in the sales and marketing intelligence industry.  This afternoon, DiscoverOrg announced the acquisition of Zoominfo, just eighteen months after acquiring RainKing.  Zoominfo acquired technographics vendor Datanyze in September, so DiscoverOrg will be integrating both a contacts vendor and a technographics vendor.

The acquisition moves DiscoverOrg into the number two position in the Sales and Marketing Intelligence space with $230 million in joint revenues.  Only LinkedIn Sales Navigator has a larger market share.

Debtwire leaked the deal on January 25th indicating that “Zebra” was a direct competitor.  According to Debtwire, DiscoverOrg was “pitching its unrated buyout loan package on strong recent growth and a story that the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts, said five buysiders familiar with the deal.  Meanwhile, levering up the capital structure draws attention to the borrower’s ability to meet synergy projections – which could crimp its free cash flow, especially amid an ambitious technology integration plan, they said.”

Debtwire indicated that the acquisition was priced at $800 million, a three-fold increase from Great Hill’s summer 2017 acquisition price of $240 million for Zoominfo.  Debtwire also indicated an FY18 management adjusted EBITDA of $62.7 million for DiscoverOrg and $17.7 for Zoominfo.

Revenue Growth Data from Inc. 5000 (2011 - 2017) and Debtwire (2018)
Revenue Growth Data from Inc. 5000 (2011 – 2017) and Debtwire (2018)

Revenue growth for both companies is strong.  DiscoverOrg has made the Inc. 5000 list for eight straight years and Zoominfo for the past four years.  Debtwire indicated revenue growth figures of 26% and 30% over the past two years for DiscoverOrg with revenue hitting $152 million in 2018.  Zoominfo has grown at an even faster pace over the past two years with growth rates of 63% and 44%.  Thus, Zoominfo revenue grew from $39 million in 2016 to $91 million last year.

Based on the Debtwire revenue numbers for 2018 and historical revenue figures from the Inc. 5000 list, DiscoverOrg had a seven-year CAGR of 61% and Zoominfo of 34%.  Zoominfo’s growth rate is mostly organic while DiscoverOrg’s organic seven-year CAGR, after adjusting for RainKing revenue, is around 53%.

The two firms are strongly complementary.  Zoominfo provides the deepest set of B2B emails and direct dials with content mined from email signature blocks.  DiscoverOrg offers deep technology profiles (technographics and project plans) alongside human verified bios (skills, responsibilities, education, work histories, emails, direct dials, and social links), org charts, and company profiles.  DiscoverOrg’s human verification supports a 95% data quality SLA for its contacts.  Zoominfo’s Datanyze acquisition provides DiscoverOrg with additional NLP tools for determining products and vendors alongside market share analytics tools for marketing and competitive intelligence teams.

“Business data is rapidly changing and your data platforms must be built to adapt,” said Zoominfo CEO Derek Schoettle in September.  “ZoomInfo has the largest, most complete data set of companies and contacts and a goal to enable our customers to automate, process, curate, and present the data on-demand and in real-time. Delivering industry-leading technographics, the Datanyze technology will be a significant addition to help us deliver the right data, at the right time, to the right person.”

“DiscoverOrg’s deep, research-verified, actionable insights coming together with ZoomInfo’s comprehensive coverage of 100M business professionals is an unrivaled combo,” said the firm.  “We each employ different, but highly advanced technologies and tools to gather, cleanse, and maintain at an unparalleled scale.”

“To effectively capitalize on growth opportunities, companies of all sizes need accurate firmographic, technographic, contact, and intent data. Combined, DiscoverOrg and ZoomInfo deliver the trifecta: B2B data of the highest quality, quantity, and depth.”


DiscoverOrg CEO Henry Schuck

Over the past few years, sales intelligence has moved from a standalone browser research service for sales reps to an integrated workflow solution tied into CRMs, Marketing Automation Platforms, Sales Engagement Platforms, Chrome Browsers, and email.  DiscoverOrg has been at the forefront of these integrations with a broad set of platform connectors.  CEO Henry Schuck emphasized these workflow tools during the announcement.  “High-quality data is the fundamental go-to-market requirement for growth. In the near future, CRM and marketing automation systems will be defined not by their empty-box capabilities – but by the data that is housed inside them.”

While highly complementary, the combined companies remain weak with respect to deep company profiles.  DiscoverOrg recently added family trees, but they are to the subsidiary level, not branches.  They also lack public company financials, US and UK filings, SWOTs, and industry research.

When DiscoverOrg acquired rival RainKing in August 2017, CEO Henry Schuck stated the following goal, “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.”

Schuck’s vision was updated today:

“Every sales and marketing team will have a go-to-market operating system that identifies the prospects that should be engaged every day, week, and month based on buying signals and intent data collected in a multitude of different ways. Even better, they have deep insights on the buyers who are making the purchase decisions with accurate contact, org chart, technographic, and firmographic data. It’s all at their fingertips and it’s all served to them dynamically – wherever they are working.”


DiscoverOrg Statement

DiscoverOrg stated that support, service, and sales for all products will continue.  Both platforms will be sold for the next six to twelve months “with highly coordinated sales and marketing efforts to ensure customers realize the most value from the platform(s) that best serve their needs.”  In March, joint customers will have a light integration between the two platforms followed quickly by DiscoverOrg customer access to Zoominfo company and contact data.

“As we combine the best of both platforms over the next year, customers will have the best, bar-none, B2B intelligence platform -the highest quality data with the broadest coverage and deepest actionable insights,” said the firm.

The combined company has 15,000 active customers and 120,000 active users, with the Zoominfo acquisition trebling the customer count.

DiscoverOrg stated that there are no plans to shutter any of Zoominfo’s locations and that hiring will continue for all Zoominfo offices.  Zoominfo has more than doubled its staff over the past year with headcount spread over six locations: Waltham (MA), San Mateo (CA), Grand Rapid (MI), St Petersburg (Russia), Kazan (Russia), and Ra’anana (Israel).  Zoominfo moved into a new headquarters location in Waltham, MA just last month.  The lease provides space for up to 450 employees.  Globally, DiscoverOrg has over 1,000 employees.

DiscoverOrg’s investors include TA Associates, The Carlyle Group, and 22C Capital.

Redefining the D-U-N-S Number

Dun & Bradstreet is looking to modernize its D-U-N-S Numbering system to support digital businesses which may not have a phone number or physical location.  D-U-N-S Numbers, which are the de facto global company numbering system, were developed by Dun & Bradstreet in 1963 and have long captured business locations including headquarters, subsidiaries, and branches along with firmographics and corporate linkage.  Currently, there are over 300 million D-U-N-S numbered active and inactive global businesses.  But this model fails to capture the emerging nature of digital businesses and the gig economy.  The expanded definition will shift from location to “point of commerce.”

“You can be a digital business.  You can be a business that is a two-person startup right out of a coffee shop and you’re accepting PayPal as your form of payment.  That doesn’t require a physical address anymore.  You could be part of the gig economy.  You can be an Uber driver.  You can have an Airbnb property.  Those don’t necessarily fit under the mold of traditional businesses,” said Saleem Khan, Digital Leader of Data Innovation at Dun & Bradstreet.

“That idea of point of commerce subsumes everything.  It subsumes the digital location.  It includes things like the Internet of Things and the gig economy as well.


Saleem Khan, Dun & Bradstreet, Leader of Data Innovation

The rise of the Internet of Things also calls for a broader definition of businesses to assist with master data management and business linkage.

“There are 11.2 billion Internet connected devices out there, half of which are doing B2B commerce,” said Khan.  “It’s a ship coming into a port and being scanned automatically.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know which businesses are tied to that particular Internet connected device?  And so, with respect to the D-U-N-S Number, what we’re doing is moving away from business at a physical location in favor of business at a point of commerce.” An expanded definition also benefits government agencies and financial services companies which often require D-U-N-S Numbers for business verification (e.g. anti-money laundering, know your customer), sub-contracting, and credit and supplier risk analyses.

Consolidation in the Sales Intelligence Space

While yesterday I discussed consolidation in the technology sales intelligence space, there has been significant consolidation over the past twenty-one months in the broader sales and marketing intelligence space.

Amongst the key transactions in 2017 and 2018:

While the industry is growing rapidly, several services are being shuttered including Data.com (Salesforce), Hoovers (migrating clients to D&B Hoovers), and Unomy (WeWork).

Tim Baskerville, Chairman of Rhetorik Global, noted that the consolidation dance is likely to continue:

“These days in the data/AI space It’s something like a high school dance. Players on the main dance floor are strutting to prove they’re attractive acquirers, whether it’s a football hero preening in front of envious fans or a second-string guy trying to lure a niche player who has a valuable point solution. The musical chairs game is underway, and everybody except the most nimble fear they’ll be left without a chair when the music stops. The catchword is “scale,” and not many have it. The deals announced recently are a tiny fraction of what’s being discussed out there, and both the money people and the operators are scrambling to figure out who is predator and who is prey. Some will be both. Check back in 24 months and our world will look very different.”

Next week I’ll be discussing the two Technology Sales Intelligence deals (Zoominfo acquiring Datanyze and HG Data acquiring Pivotal iQ).

Consolidation in the Technology Sales Intelligence Space

Technographics, which were a relatively small segment five years ago, have grown rapidly and are in the midst of a consolidation phase.  Three years ago, DiscoverOrg acquired iProfile and then picked up RainKing last August.  This week, HG Data acquired London-based Pivotal iQ, Zoominfo acquired Datanyze, and DiscoverOrg rebranded.

Both acquisitions expand the scope of coverage of the acquiring firms.  Zoominfo had limited technographics prior to the Datanyze deal and now holds a deeper set of technographics along with analytics and visualization tools.  HG Data has expanded beyond product / vendor data to include contract and spend intelligence.

By my research, the IT sub-sector represents 18% of the sales intelligence space with DiscoverOrg in the pole position.  Overall, the IT sub-sector is $170 million and it is growing faster than the overall Sales Intelligence market.

“The recent acquisition activity shows the value and appetite for technology data enrichment,” said HG Data VP of Product and Marketing Kineon Walker.  “This consolidation cycle is happening as new companies continue to enter the space. As technology data continues to evolve and become more valuable to businesses of all sizes, we expect this sector to continue to grow and flourish.”

What we are seeing is the transition of technographic intelligence from a delighter five years ago to a must have content set for sales and marketing intelligence products.  Ten years ago, it was contacts and SMBs that made this transition. Eight years ago it was sales triggers.  Four years ago it was emails and direct dials.  Now it is technographics.

Next up it may be third-party intent data and the integration of first-party visitor intelligence into more sophisticated lead scoring and prioritization.

I will be covering both acquisitions over the next few days.

Congressional Research Service Reports

Congressional Research Service reports are finally available via a centralized, government database.
Congressional Research Service reports are finally available via a centralized, government database.

It only took twenty-five years, but Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports are finally available through the Library of Congress.  Members of Congress have long released the reports to third-party databases, but now the reports are available directly from the Library of Congress.  As the research is paid for by taxpayers and conducted at the behest of Congress, limited access to this research has long been an affront to legislative transparency.

According to their FAQ, the CRS is “a federal legislative branch agency located within the Library of Congress, [which] serves as shared staff exclusively to congressional committees and Members of Congress. CRS experts assist at every stage of the legislative process — from the early considerations that precede bill drafting, through committee hearings and floor debate, to the oversight of enacted laws and various agency activities.”

CRS research is non-partisan and takes a multi-perspective approach to current issues and legislation.  Reports are both on demand and anticipatory.  “CRS approaches complex topics from a variety of perspectives and examines all sides of an issue. Staff members analyze current policies and present the impact of proposed policy alternatives.”

CRS services include reports on major policy issues; tailored confidential memoranda; briefings and consultations; seminars and workshops; and expert congressional testimony.

“With public policy issues growing more complex, the need for insightful and comprehensive analysis has become vital. Congress relies on CRS to marshal interdisciplinary resources, encourage critical thinking and create innovative frameworks to help legislators form sound policies, reach decisions on a host of difficult issues and address their constituents’ concerns and needs. These decisions will guide and shape the nation today and for generations to come.”

  • Congressional Research Service FAQ

The CRS database was included in The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018.  “We worked closely with Congress to make sure that we had a mutual understanding of the law’s requirements and Congress’ expectations in our approach to this project,” said Carla D. Hayden, Librarian of Congress.

As governmental work product, CRS research is not subject to copyright.  Thus, CRS research may be broadly disseminated without permission.  However, some research may contain copyrighted third-party images or material.

The new website provides the same search functionality as Congress and is keyword searchable.  Full-text searching is available along with filtering by topic, date, author, and additional keywords.

2017 North American Market Size

 

 

North American Sales Intelligence Market Sizing Model (Excel)

The 2017 Market Size of North American Sales Intelligence Vendors. Includes vendor product features, market share, and notes. GZ Consulting Copyright 2018.

$750.00

For the past few years, I have been sizing the North American Sales Intelligence Market.  This is the largest of the markets as Europe and AsiaPac are more fragmented (the UK is the only other mature market).

In 2017, I estimated the market at $950 million with LinkedIn Sales Navigator as the top vendor.  While new firms continue to enter, the top four vendors earn two of every three dollars in the industry.  The top four  concentration increased 7% last year, mostly due to the acquisitions of Avention and RainKing.

LI SN Market Share
The LinkedIn Market Share Section of the 2017 North American Sales Intelligence Market Sizing

The industry grew 17% over the past year with the majority of this growth being captured by LinkedIn Sales Navigator, DiscoverOrg, and ZoominfoTechTarget, which was off my radar in 2016, has also seen rapid growth in 2017 and 2018.

DiscoverOrg acquired RainKing at the end of August 2017 so two-thirds of its revenue was recognized as RainKing and one-third as part of DiscoverOrg.  Combined, the two firms earned around $118 million least year with DiscoverOrg ending the year with a $130 million plus ARR.  DiscoverOrg raked in two of every three dollars within the technology sales intelligence sub-segment.

LinkedIn holds a nearly 30% market share.  It has grown rapidly while remaining under the radar of its peers as it is often used as a complementary service to other sales and marketing intelligence services.

Data.com’s 2017 revenue was stable but Dun & Bradstreet forecasted a 30% drop in 2018 (D&B is a revenue share partner on the service).  I anticipate that much of this revenue will shift to other vendors in 2018 and 2019.  Dun & Bradstreet is in a strong position to take much of this share, but other vendors are pushing hard to acquire Data.com clients.

Zoominfo was ahead of the other sales intelligence vendors in recognizing the value of adding marketing functionality alongside their sales tools.  This has put them in a strong position for data services.  They also built the deepest set of global contacts with emails and direct dials and were early to build out connectors (CRM, MAP, Sales Engagement, and Chrome).

I am making my market model available for license (See PayPal button at top) as an Excel spreadsheet.  It includes revenue numbers by company along with market share, key features, and notes.

Infogroup Establishes Copyright for “Database Compiled from Facts”; Database101 & Vin Gupta Liable for $53.6M

Infogroup LogoIt has been 4½ years since Infogroup sued its former CEO Vinod Gupta and Database101 for infringing Infogroup’s database copyright and trademarks, unfair competition, false advertising and breach of various contracts.  After leaving Infogroup, Gupta founded a set of competing companies with similar features and content as Infogroup.  These include Infofree, DatabaseUSA, and AtoZDatabases.  Database101 was held liable by a jury for $43.6 million and Gupta for $10 million.

According to Infogroup, the court held that “(i) Infogroup’s extensive processes of compiling its databases (data selection, refinement, verification, updating and user-friendly arrangement) were so sophisticated and value-enhancing, that the databases qualified for copyright protection and (ii) Gupta and DB101 had unlawfully passed Infogroup’s proprietary database off as their own.”

“The jury agreed that Infogroup’s industry leading techniques of database management qualified Infogroup’s database for protection under federal copyright law,” said Greg Scaglione of Koley Jessen, who litigated the case. “These verdicts are a testament to the extraordinary quality of Infogroup’s databases, and the company’s tenacity in protecting its databases, copyrights, trademarks and the market place from competitors’ misconduct.”

In 2008, Gupta was fired from Infogroup for leading a lavish lifestyle paid for by the then-public company.  Soon after, Gupta founded Database101 and hired thirty employees away from Infogroup.  Infogroup charged that Database101 stole the Infogroup database along with trade secrets.  They also held that Database101 infringed on Infogroup copyrights and marks, mimicked Infogroup products, and implied that the two companies were affiliated in their marketing.

Scaglione told Law360 that “Infogroup has successfully protected our database copyright and have established legal precedent that a database compiled from facts is protectable under federal copyright if the compiler uses selection, arrangement or coordination of the facts during the compilation process.”

Disclosure: I was the Manager of Strategy and Competition at Infogroup from 2010 through 2012.  Prior to that, I was a Product Marketing Manager at OneSource Information Services, an Infogroup subsidiary.