DealSignal Enrich

DealSignal CRM Lead Enrichment
DealSignal CRM Lead Enrichment

Human-verified contacts vendor DealSignal released an Enrichment module for maintaining data quality.  Along with company and contact enrichment, DealSignal appends Bombora third-party intent data, helping identify which prospects are actively researching key topics.  The service supports inbound lead enrichment and scheduled data maintenance.

Because inbound leads are enriched, they can be quickly segmented, scored, routed, and prioritized.  ABM companies can immediately determine whether a lead matches a target persona and ideal customer profile, ensuring such leads are immediately sent to sales for action.

Contacts are matched against DealSignal’s universe of human-verified contacts and enriched with direct dials, firmographics, and intent scores.

A wizard helps map DealSignal fields to Salesforce or HubSpot.  Admins set sync and refresh schedules.

“We’re always excited when our partners develop innovative new ways of using intent data to help marketing and sales teams drive revenue.  By extending lead enrichment automation to include Bombora’s Company Surge data, DealSignal will provide revenue teams valuable insight into whether a buying committee is forming or one curious person just happened to download some content.  That added insight will help marketing and sales teams work together more effectively to drive the most value from their inbound leads.”

Charles Crnoevich, Head of Partnerships at Bombora

Inbound Lead Enrichment service is the first B2B DaaS platform to combine human-verified contacts and firmographics with third-party Bombora intent.  The platform takes skinny inbound leads and enriches them with accurate, actionable insights and contact details, helping determine which leads should be immediately routed to sales and which should be retained.  Reps can then prioritize prospects that are currently in-market for products or services like theirs and craft highly personalized messaging, thereby improving their odds of exceeding quota.

People.ai Round C

San Francisco-based Revenue Intelligence vendor People.ai announced Round C funding of $60 million along with the launch of its new The Wire next-best-action (NBA) service.  The round was led by ICONIQ Capital with participation by Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Venture Partners, GGV Capital, and Y Combinator.  Will Griffith, Partner at ICONIQ Capital, has joined the People.ai Board of Directors.

People.ai has received $97 million in funding to date.  Its valuation was not provided, but TechCrunch placed the valuation at “mid-nine-figures.”

“Today’s announcement of our Series C funding represents a critical milestone in achieving our vision for the Future of Work,” said People.ai CEO Oleg Rogynskyy.  “We’ve already enabled customers to, for the first time, capture all of an organization’s critical business data, such as contacts and customer activity data, and deliver it directly to the CRM.  This has significantly improved sales productivity and CRM data accuracy and liberated the enterprise from time-consuming manual data entry.  Today, we’re taking People.ai to the next level with AI-driven intelligence that provides customer-facing teams with a simple, personalized set of actions based on current, historical and industry data that will help accelerate revenue.  When you use The Wire, you’ll have your most productive day at work, every day.”

People.ai was founded in 2016 and already supports Red Hat, Lyft, Zoom, New Relic, and Splunk.  The firm describes itself as a Revenue Intelligence System:

“People.ai offers the industry’s only Revenue Intelligence System (RIS) that automates the capture of all contact and customer activity data, dynamically updates CRM and provides actionable intelligence across CRM, collaboration, business intelligence, and other management tools for sales, marketing, customer success and services teams – exponentially accelerating growth and delivering actionable insights for strategic business decision making.”

People.ai Website

People.ai fills out buying committees for active opportunities, maps contacts and interactions to accounts and opportunities, and suggests next best actions.  Applying natural language processing and machine learning to buying committee discovery and NBA are the latest advancement in sales and marketing intelligence.

People.ai also supports contact updates derived from email signatures and pulls “critical information” such as product or competitor mentions, sentiment, and buyer intent.

People.ai’s recently launched Campaign360 service supports marketing attribution by tracking opportunities influenced or generated by marketing activities.  Campaign360 is the “industry’s only AI-based solution that equips Marketers with the real-time, full funnel campaign visibility they need at their fingertips,” said the firm.

“We’re thrilled to partner with People.ai as they execute their vision to unleash the potential of AI to drive enterprise revenue,” said Griffith.  “People.ai is well positioned in a highly strategic enterprise market, leveraging automation and AI to fundamentally change the way people work.  People.ai’s product, powered by strong network effects, is delivering insights and productivity at the scale and quality we have not seen previously.  We see an incredible opportunity to accelerate People.ai’s game-changing technology as they redefine the meaning of the Predictive Enterprise.  People.ai is the Future of Work.”

Partners include Salesforce, Slack, Outreach, SalesLoft, Exchange, and G Suite.


On Monday, I will be covering The Wire, People.AI’s new Next Best Action service.

HG for Marketo

HG Insights released its HG for Marketo integration which provides improved targeting, scoring, and messaging within the Marketo marketing automation platform.  The new service helps marketers segment their audience, identify competitive opportunities, and “craft messaging that resonates with the specific pain points and challenges they are facing or determine if a company is using a complementary solution.”

Technographic intelligence can be used for both competitive targeting and building scoring models based upon the existence of competitive or complementary technologies.  New leads are automatically enriched with technographic intelligence, providing insights for lead nurturing and scoring.  Marketo Engage contact records are updated with the latest new technology installation insights, providing ongoing, dynamic intelligence.

“With HG Insights Technographics integrated within Marketo Engage, marketing teams can now understand what [sic] technologies their prospects are using and build nurture campaigns that generate higher response rates,” blogged Marketing Manager David Guerra.  “Marketers can also use HG Insights to identify and score contacts that are using competitive technologies, and quickly send those leads to sales for faster conversion.”

Technographic audience targeting by HG for Marketo
Technographic audience targeting by HG for Marketo

“HG for Marketo is the easiest way to enrich contact records with accurate technology intelligence,” said Kineon Walker, Vice President of Product and Marketing, HG Insights.  “The powerful combination of technographics from HG Insights and Marketo Engage creates more informed communications that help businesses beat their competition and accelerate growth.”

Ringlead B2B DaaS

Ringlead was a pioneer in the B2B DaaS space and continues to support batch and on-demand company and contact intelligence.  They began building matching algorithms for duplicate cleansing and prevention in 2004 and joined Salesforce’s AppExchange as an early partner.  RingLead’s algorithms are used to connect third-party databases for data appends.  The firm now provides a broad set of B2B DaaS hygiene and enrichment services including data cleansing, standardization, normalization, de-duping, segmentation, routing, and appending services.  Users can upload lists to their cloud service or perform ongoing updates to enterprise software platforms.

Prior to enriching records, RingLead performs a set of validation and standardization steps which both enhance the data and improve match rates.  Names and addresses are standardized, emails are validated, and customer-specific mapping logic such as revenue bands and industry sectors are applied.

Sales Ops and Marketing also have control over duplicate matching logic and data consolidation rules.  Field-level rules help determine which fields are retained when records are merged or whether fields should be concatenated.  When records are enriched, admins can set fields to always be overlaid or enriched only when null.  Over 100 company and contact fields are supported.

RingLead provides enterprise software connectors for Salesforce, Eloqua, and Marketo.  Several others are in development.  For marketing automation platforms, they provide JavaScript which is dropped into lead forms and which provides company suggest logic for immediate matching.  Records are validated upon submission and immediately enriched.  Duplicate checking is also performed.

In Salesforce, duplicate logic is employed during record creation and as a batch process.  RingLead supports Account, Contact, Lead, and Custom record data enrichment and I-frame display.

When routing leads, sales operations can distribute by name, industry, geographic territory, size, or other field-based logic.  Leads are assigned to current account owners.  If a lead is new and does not match any pre-defined assignment rules, round-robin assignment is employed.

Ringlead Capture
Ringlead Capture

RingLead offers both its own master database of companies and contacts and API access to data from other B2B and B2C vendors with admin-defined waterfall rules.  Cascade selection provides a broader set of fields as well as secondary and tertiary vendors which can be called if the primary is unable to enrich a record.  Third-party records are standardized so that data is normalized and displayed consistently across all record sources.  Custom segmentation rules are also employed and duplicate prevention logic is applied across all of the vendors.  Marketing can even prospect against multiple vendors in RingLead with records de-duped and standardized.

RingLead is shifting its focus from being a data vendor to facilitating a data ecosystem.  “There is no company that should use a single data provider,” said RingLead Chief Product Officer John Kosturos.  “We are giving customers the ability to get the best data all the time.”

Data partners include

  • Company – Owler, DatabaseUSA, LexisNexis, NetWise, KickFire, and Dun & Bradstreet resellers
  • Contact – Google, Bing, FullContact, NetWise, PIPL, StatSocial, Informatica, Oceanos (TechTarget), and Clearbit
  • Technographics – HG Insights and Clearbit

A customer may have a license with a data vendor, but choose to pull the data through RingLead enrichment or prospecting.  Customers pay the data vendor for the data license and are charged only for API calls by RingLead.  Cleanse and Enrich have volume-based pricing based on the number of supported records.

Pricing begins at $2,000 per month, “far less than it would cost to hire a person to try to manage these processes manually,” said Kosturos.

While the core functionality is designed for marketing and sales operations, the DMS Capture Chrome extension (see image on right) allows sales reps to conduct real-time company and contact research from LinkedIn, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Google, or company pages.  Capture sends records to over twenty platforms including CRM and Sales Engagement vendors.  Standardized records can be sent to Salesforce as Accounts, Contacts, or Leads.  Duplicate records are flagged.  Over 75 standardized fields are available including emails, direct dials, LinkedIn hyperlinks, Twitter handles, firmographics, and technographics.  When performed against Google search results, LinkedIn lists, or Executive Pages, a list of matched contact profiles is displayed and may be uploaded selectively or in bulk.

Customers include CA Technologies, HP, Uber, Capital One, BNY Mellon, and the New York Stock Exchange.

SalesIntel: Company Profiles, Technographic Searching, & New Connectors

SalesIntel Company Profile
SalesIntel Company Profile

I profiled SalesIntel and its human-verified contacts last summer but failed to cover a series of announcements from them over the past nine months (they were covered in my newsletter, but didn’t make it into my blog).

SalesIntel continues its database build out with company intelligence alongside their database of nearly three million high-quality US contacts. Each of these contacts is reverified each quarter, providing a smaller, but significantly higher quality email and direct dial dataset than other vendors. The exception is DealSignal which is performing overnight data validation so also delivering recently verified contacts.

Along with high-quality contacts, SalesIntel added company profiles which provide contact context.  Company profiles are accessed by performing a company name search and clicking on the company name in the resulting contact list. The new profiles contain the following sections:

  • Company logo and name
  • Executive Intel — the names and titles of the top-level executives at the firm.  Users can click on the executives to view their details.
  • Firmographic data from Owler
  • HQ info
  • Industry & Sector info
  • Tech Intel — vendors and product deployed at the company
  • Contact Intel — a grid containing the number of executives available within SalesIntel by job function and level.  Clicking on a number takes the user to a list of contacts for the company at that function and level.  Users can also obtain filtered lists by clicking on the totals by job function or level.

The most recent enhancement is the incorporation of Owler firmographics into their database. SalesIntel users can also view Owler’s real-time news alerts for their prospects including IPOs, Funding, and Acquisition news.

“Owler helps sales teams work faster and smarter. We provide accurate and up-to-date information about companies and their top competitors, as well as deliver real-time actionable insights about the companies that matter to your pipeline.”



Tim Harsch, CEO of Owler

SalesLoft released sales engagement connectors for Outreach and SalesLoft late last year. Duplicate checking is performed.  Records are tagged and assigned to SalesLoft cadences and Outreach sequences.

A HubSpot connecter was also released. The integration allows users to select contact owners and assign exported contacts to a workflow. Duplicate record checking is supported.

New targeting features include US metro areas and technographic searching.  Users can screen by product, vendor, or category.  The technographics file was licensed from HG Insights (FKA HG Data).

Category searching may be performed by keyword or navigating a technology category tree.  Technographic searching is a component of the company module.

SalesIntel Technographic Screening
SalesIntel Technographic Screening

Contacts are sold in annual plans with contact records beginning at a dollar per record.

SalesIntel was launched last summer.  Ramnani said his firm is receiving “very positive feedback from the market.”

DataFox Oracle Integration

DataFox Logo

Since being acquired by Oracle last fall, DataFox has grown its company coverage by nearly 30% and is now being integrated into Oracle platforms including Oracle ERP, Oracle CX Cloud, and Oracle Marketing Cloud (Eloqua).  

The CX Cloud provides Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and Total Addressable Market (TAM) modeling based on DataFox firmographics and signals spanning 3.5 million companies.  DataFox is adding 7,000 companies each day.

“We see B2B sales shifting from a field-first model to what we call a digital selling model.  By that we mean that increasingly organizations are moving to inside sales teams that are aided by digital selling tools like Eloqua or like Slack,” says Des Cahill, head CX evangelist at Oracle.  “We believe that a combination of data enrichment from DataFox and then AI and ML systems to guide employees is the future of sales.”

Eloqua integration with the Oracle Data Cloud and DataFox provides marketing with improved intent and account behavior insights.

The ERP integration supports supplier risk assessment with supplier scoring, risk signals, and categorization.

“As more organizations apply machine learning to core business processes, the quality of data being fed to algorithms is the single-most important factor that determines the value of AI results,” said VP of Product Management for Adaptive Intelligence Bastiaan Janmaat.  “We built our smart data platform for the AI era and will continue to extend the capabilities beyond sales and marketing to include company-level data for use cases in finance, HR and supply chain.”

DataFox Account Scoring
DataFox Account Scoring

DataFox began as a dataset for investment banking, but “we just found a huge gaping hole, in terms of the quality of B2B datasets that were available in the market,” said Janmaat.  

Whereas 15 years ago it was difficult to find company information, there are now filings, press releases, corporate websites, tweets, blogs, and other content which make it difficult to collect and assess company intelligence.

“There’s gold to be mined, but it’s a small percentage of what’s out there in the public domain.  And that is a perfect problem to apply artificial intelligence to.”


Former DataFox CEO Bastiaan Janmaat (Oracle VP of Product for Adaptive Intelligence)

“Stagnant data sitting unchanged in sales and marketing systems and low-quality public data sources threaten ROI and reduce the effectiveness of AI deployments,” said Clive Swan, SVP of Applications Development.  “DataFox is a key element in Oracle’s AI strategy and will help customers gain more value from the AI embedded in Oracle Cloud Applications.  We plan to include more integrations across the entire suite of cloud applications to further enhance AI capabilities across finance, human resources and supply chain.”

DataFox is now available as an Oracle data cleansing and enrichment service, but will support three additional functions by mid-year:

  • Similar company identification based on the ICP
  • Account prioritization
  • Providing “embedded dynamic signals” (talking points) to sales reps

Additional Eloqua enhancements are planned.

DataFox is also touting its dynamic territory planning service which was launched prior to the acquisition.  Territory planning combines DataFox intelligence with internal company data such as win rates to dynamically assign and maintain balanced territories.

“What’s most interesting though, is that when Oracle DataFox detects a new account, that for whatever reason newly satisfies certain criteria and to make it a great target, it will dynamically enter that territory,” said Janmaat.  “Either sales ops or the account executive gets pinged for that opportunity.  So instead of a once a year exercise, it dynamically updates territories.  They’ve seen tremendous results in terms of conversion rates and in deal size.

DiscoverOrg’s NeverBounce Acquisition

The DiscoverOrg acquisition of NeverBounce was in the works for six months and began with DiscoverOrg’s search for a verification vendor that could better handle large scale processing.  “It’s a core competency we wanted to own,” said DiscoverOrg CEO Henry Schuck.

DiscoverOrg is retaining the NeverBounce team of fifteen, but shuttering its smaller Salt Lake City office with employees being relocated to Cleveland. The acquisition was announced on March 5th.

NeverBounce 2018 revenue was $4 million and included both B2B and B2C marketing file enhancement revenues.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

NeverBounce will continue as both a standalone offering and be integrated into the merged DiscoverOrg / Zoominfo platform.  The combined platform is planned for launch in five months.

“When we made the ZoomInfo acquisitions, the promise was that this would strengthen differentiators around the quality of data we deliver.  The NeverBounce acquisition is a very clear incremental addition to that value.  It helps us enhance the quality of information we deliver immediately.”


DiscoverOrg President Katie Bullard

If you count Zoominfo’s September acquisition of Datanyze, DiscoverOrg has acquired three companies in the past six months.  The transaction doubled the company headcount to around 1,000 employees.  But Schuck isn’t closing the door on acquisitions saying that he will be opportunistic in his approach.

“There are a lot of companies in our space that we follow,” he said.  “If the opportunity is right, we have been quick to do acquisitions.  There’s a big opportunity for consolidation in our industry so that customers don’t have to go to 19 different vendors for data and data cleansing needs.”


Previous Blog: News Alert: DiscoverOrg Acquires NeverBounce

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.

InsideView Refresh Enhancements

InsideView Refresh Dashboard
InsideView Refresh Dashboard

InsideView rolled out a pair of enhancements to its CRM Refresh product.  Along with Accounts, Refresh now cleanses and enriches Contact records, matching both record types against its reference database of 13 million companies and 33 million contacts.  

Refresh also supports email validation, an important function for maintaining data quality. Both matched and unmatched records are processed on a semi-annual basis. Email validation is performed by StrikeIron, an Informatica company.

The Refresh dashboard (on right) provides match and field-level fill rates for both account and contact records.

“Valid email addresses lower bounce rates and increase deliverability of marketing campaigns, resulting in greater response rates and higher ABM program success,” wrote the Customer Success Team to its customers.  “Successful sales outreach also depends on accurate contact information, including whether anexisting contact has moved on to another job.”

“Employees just don’t stay in one job at one company any more, and keeping up with all that job shifting is a nightmare of CRM management.  Today we’re giving sales and marketing ops one more weapon in the battle against stale CRM data.  Other cleansing solutions only clean the contacts that exist in their systems, but email validation allows InsideView Refresh to add value to any contact with an email address.”

Adam Perry, InsideView director of product management

Pricing is available both on an à la carte volume basis and a seat-basedmodel similar to Data.com.  The idea is to provide an “easy switch” fromData.com Clean and Prospector to InsideView.  “We match allcapabilities and price to make it very easy for customers to switch,” said VPof Product and Solution Marketing Joe Andrews.  “We’ve seen a significant growth in demand for this since it’s become more generally known that Data.comis being sunset.”

Few firms have integrated email validation into their cloud or CRM hygiene offerings, leaving firms with bad contact records which cannot be matched against reference datasets.  Products such as D&B Optimizer, InsideView Refresh, and ReachForce SmartSuite are the exception, helping improve delivery rates and email sender scores by verifying emails, even for unmatched records.

Refresh is available for both Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

Oracle Acquires DataFox

Oracle recently acquired DataFox, providing them with access to 2.8 million company profiles, including funding and M&A data.  DataFox “gives customers real-time insight to know when a business exhibits noteworthy behaviors.”

“The combination of Oracle and DataFox will enhance Oracle Cloud Applications with an extensive set of trusted company-level data and signals, enabling customers to reach even better decisions and business outcomes,” wrote Oracle’s EVP of Applications Development Steve Miranda to customers and partners.

Oracle provides the following deal shorthand:

Oracle Cloud Applications + DataFox = Even Smarter Decisions

DataFox is growing its database at 1.2 million companies annually.  The database will deliver real-time insights into its cloud-based ERP, CX, HCM and SCM platforms.

DataFox Data Engine Overview (Oracle Presentation, October 23, 2018)
DataFox Data Engine Overview (Oracle Presentation, October 23, 2018)

In a bit of extreme puffery, Oracle described DataFox as the “the most current, precise and expansive set of company-level information and insightful data.”  Bureau van Dijk and Dun & Bradstreet have 50X the active company coverage including detailed global linkage, risk models, and multi-year financial data.  Bureau van Dijk also offers the Zephyr database, an M&A and funding dataset with over twenty years of closed, pending, and rumored deals.  Where DataFox may have an advantage is in their focus on mid-size and emerging companies which have been recently funded, but this is a small subset of the company universe.

DataFox will continue to sell and support its products.  However, the DataFox roadmap and product line are fluid:

“Oracle is currently reviewing the existing DataFox product roadmap and will be providing guidance to customers in accordance with Oracle’s standard product communication policies. Any resulting features and timing of release of such features as determined by Oracle’s review of DataFox’s product roadmap are at the sole discretion of Oracle. All product roadmap information, whether communicated by DataFox or by Oracle, does not represent a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract.”

Along with AI insights, Oracle called out the needs for quality data to back data maintenance, artificial intelligence, and business signals.

Customer Data Challenges (Oracle Presentation, October 23, 2018)
Customer Data Challenges (Oracle Presentation, October 23, 2018)

DataFox has over 275 customers including Goldman Sachs, Bain & Company, Outreach, Live Ramp, and Twilio.

DataFox raised $19 million in funding.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.  In January 2017, DataFox was valued at $33 million by Pitchbook.

Oracle should study Salesforce’s acquisition of Jigsaw (later renamed Data.com) as a cautionary tale.  Software companies struggle in selling data files as company and contact data decays rapidly and it is difficult to push data quality above 90% absent large editorial investments.  Furthermore, Jigsaw never represented more than 1% of Salesforce revenue so quickly fell off of the company’s internal radar.  The firm is now looking to decommission Data.com and asking its AppExchange partners to fill the sales intelligence and data hygiene gap left in its absence.  Coincidentally, DataFox is one of Salesforce’s Lightning Data partners.

On the positive side, LinkedIn hit $1.3 billion last quarter and has thrived under Microsoft’s ownership.  However, LinkedIn was a much more mature company at acquisition than DataFox with multiple revenue streams and a unique user generated content model.  Microsoft has provided LinkedIn with development capital and allowed it to maintain its independence.  It has also looked to leverage LinkedIn and Microsoft strengths when building sales and marketing products, instead of simply copying other vendors.  For example, Sales Navigator continues to respect the privacy of its members while using aggregated data to provide hiring and employment insights that other companies cannot deliver.  Navigator has also added strong messaging tools (chat, InMail, and PointDrive) which work around its lack of company emails.  Other innovations include SNAP workflow connectors, its new Pipeline CRM updating tool, and Buyer’s Circle for identifying the buying committee at large firms.