HG Insights Equity Round

Technology Intelligence vendor HG Insights closed on an equity round with Riverwood Capital.  Neither the size nor the valuation was disclosed.  

HG Insights employs natural language processing and machine learning to develop account intelligence concerning technology installations, IT budgets, and contract information for eleven million global companies across 14,000 products.

“Our customers have come to rely on HG Insights as an indispensable input into their most strategic decisions such as market sizing, whitespace analysis, and territory planning as well as for fundamental activities including opportunity prioritization and account-based marketing intelligence.  Our rapid growth over the last two years is fueled by the depth and breadth of benefits we provide to B2B technology companies, globally. Riverwood’s investment is a vote of confidence in our future.  It gives us flexibility and access to resources to help accelerate our growth and capitalize on the exciting opportunity before us.”

HG Insights CEO Elizabeth Cholawsky

Riverwood is a Technology-focused growth-equity firm with $3.5 billion in assets under management.  Riverwood says that it offers “a unique combination of operational, strategic, technological, and financial insight to portfolio companies that need both growth capital and expertise in order to scale.”

Riverwood Capital Managing Partner Jeff Parks said, “HG Insights represents a golden opportunity for Riverwood to continue to use our capital and expertise to accelerate the growth of innovative technology companies addressing demonstrated but unmet market needs.  Elizabeth and her team have built an organization poised to disrupt the traditional go-to-market process for companies of virtually any size, and we’re very excited about the potential of this partnership.”

HG Insights just closed on a successful year, reaching its highest annual recurring revenue and profitability.  Employment rose 30% last year, and revenue grew over 35%.  While HG Insights continues to license its firmographics to other vendors, its growth has been focused on direct sales of technographics and analytics to customers.

“Customers continue to reaffirm that HG Insights’ data’s breadth, depth, and coverage accuracy has become an indispensable asset for critical decision making at every level of a technology company,” commented Riverwood Principal Ramesh Venugopal. “HG Insights provides unique, data-driven knowledge giving decision-makers confidence that they are making the right choices.” Jeff Parks and Ramesh Venugopal have joined HG Insight’s Board of Directors

HG Insights Product Line — Missing is the just announced HG Market Intelligence service that provides “actionable market intelligence for every phase of your go-to-market.”

Cognism Acquires Ricochet

UK-based Sales Intelligence vendor Cognism acquired Ricochet, an outbound sales Chrome extension that displays company profiles from company pages, Twitter profiles, LinkedIn pages, Gmail, and Google search.  Ricochet brings with it 1,200 global customers.  Ricochet employs data aggregation to profile and qualify businesses in real-time.

“We’ve admired Cognism’s approach and success since the early days of Ricochet, with both teams dedicated to empowering sales teams with actionable and accurate B2B data,” said Ricochet CEO Paul Smith. “We’re thrilled to be working with [Cognism CEO] James [Isilay] and the team, and look forward to Ricochet’s technology helping Cognism’s customers improve efficiency and streamline their sales development activity.”

Ricochet claims to reduce research and qualification time by 60%, showing employee size, investment information, similar companies, industries, markets, locations, and Companies House data.  A second tab surfaces company blogs.  

HubSpot and Pipedrive integrations indicate which accounts have been added and when they were last updated.  Users have one-click access to the CRM records.

“I am delighted to welcome Ricochet to the Cognism family,” said Isilay. “Paul [Smith] and his team have built a very impressive tool that is trusted by thousands of sales professionals in the B2B space. They solve a very difficult problem. Their focus on data quality makes them an easy fit for us at Cognism, being a world-leader in providing compliant business data. I am looking forward to working with everyone at Ricochet and helping our customers find and deliver new revenue opportunities in 2021 and beyond.”

The acquisition is IP-only, with no employees joining Cognism.

The free Ricochet Chrome extension launched this summer and has quickly been iterating, adding new functionality through the summer and fall.

Ricochet is Cognism’s second acquisition this year.  In May, Cognism picked up signature marketing firm Mailtastic.  

Drift for Salesforce

Revenue Acceleration platform vendor Drift launched Drift for Salesforce, a new integration that creates and updates Salesforce Leads and Contacts then syncs chat conversations.  Drift also offers the option to pass leads into Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua, or HubSpot.

Drift employs Contract Attribute mapping that derives contact attributes from chats, with both standard and custom attribute variables supported.  Drift Admins map the variables between the two platforms and set overwrite rules at the field level.

When leads book sales meetings through Drift, the sales rep is assigned as the lead owner in Salesforce, a Salesforce event is created, and the chat transcript is stored as a live chat record once the chat has closed.

Drift also syncs with opportunity records, helping operations teams understand which Drift conversations impacted opportunities, the dollar value of the interactions, and which conversations influenced the deal.  Thus, revenue operations teams can understand which conversations affected the bottom line, wherever they occurred across the buyers’ journey.  Drift reports and dashboards assist with attribution.

“Drift’s pre-built reports and custom dashboards give you an at-a-glance view of your performance so you always have the information you and your stakeholders need – right at your fingertips. You can also use the app to analyze your performance across the business, by specific metric, or by teammate, so you can easily identify specific areas where you should double-down.”

Drift Product Marketing Senior Manager Aurelia Solomon

Drift can also display customized welcome messages for target accounts and immediately route important contacts to sales reps.

Drift looks at the email and domain to map records.  If a domain is new, then a new lead is created, but if the domain already exists, either a new contact record is created or the email is used to match the conversation to a current contact.

Drift for Salesforce is available for Enterprise, Unlimited, Developer, and Performance plans.


In other news, Drift ranked #6 on the Deloitte Fast 500 North American list, with 35,474% revenue growth between 2016 and 2019.

“We founded Drift because we recognized that we were going through a paradigm shift,” commented CEO David Cancel. “We were moving from a world where the company controlled the buying process — to one in which the buyer was in control.  This is even more true now — and we’re just getting started.  Our mission is to change the way businesses buy from businesses, and we’re thrilled that our customers have chosen us to create frictionless, more human experiences.”

RelSci Launches Radar for Business Development (Part II)

Relationship Science (RelSci) recently announced Relationship Radar, their new relationship capital management service that marries sales intelligence with an enterprise’s network of employees, alumni, and professional relationships. I covered the feature functionality in yesterday’s blog.

The RelSci Radar release should be viewed as a V1, with a deep set of planned enhancements on the product roadmap:

  • Signature block scraping with automated contact updates
  • Contact de-duplication
  • Integration of Radar into their iOS and Android apps
  • GSuite and Salesforce integrations
  • Broader incorporation of Radar into the RelSci platform and API

Radar is included as part of the RelSci enterprise subscription.  There is no additional licensing fee beyond a $750 implementation charge that can vary slightly depending on the implementation scope.

“As part of our product roadmap, we plan to make Radar available with greater flexibility (including the option to opt-out of the front-end platform at a reduced rate), but for now Radar is only available as part of our enterprise offering,” wrote RelSci Data Product Manager Brian Hyman.

RelSci products are sold on a seat basis with volume discounts.

Pricing is based on the number of seats and configuration.  RelSci did not disclose additional details.

Relationship Capital Management software was a hot category fifteen years ago but never gained much traction due to security concerns and the rise of LinkedIn as a public network.  With security teams now more comfortable with cloud solutions, the category may be open to rediscovery.  Introhive has been successful in the space, placing 128th on Deloitte’s 2020 Fast 500 technology list, with revenue growth of 938% between 2016 and 2019.  Many of the top professional services firms have deployed Introhive, including PriceWaterhouseCoopers, with a 100,000 seat implementation across 90 countries.

“We founded Introhive with a mission to help organizations realize the full value of their relationships and better leverage the underutilized data across their business to increase revenues,” said CEO Jody Glidden. “We have evolved into a suite of artificial intelligence-based solutions that expedite growth for sales and marketing teams.”

LinkedIn Sales Navigator supports corporate TeamLink networking across LinkedIn connections of opted-in colleagues. Relationship networking is also a central feature of InsideView and Warmly, which recently received seed round funding.

RelSci Launches Radar for Business Development

Sales Intelligence vendor Relationship Science (RelSci) unveiled Radar, its latest business development solution.  Radar analyzes emails and calendars to deliver insights about interactions between colleagues and target companies.  Radar currently supports Microsoft mail platforms (e.g., Exchange, Office 365), with GSuite on the roadmap.

Each morning, business development and sales reps receive an email briefing with the latest intelligence on their scheduled appointments, even if RelSci lacks company and contact profiles for the individuals.  Briefings include the date, time, location, meeting attendee lists, and information about the attendees.  Daily email briefings can also be accessed from mobile devices.

RelSci intelligence includes the number of colleagues in touch with the individual, total interactions, last interaction date, and latest news.  Radar also displays a list of colleagues in touch with execs, sorted by connection strength.  For meetings, profiles and network connections are provided for each of the attendees.

“During these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever to help take the guesswork out of targeting prospects by utilizing RelSci with Radar to identify your strongest relationship path, coupled with full insights into your firm’s communication interactions.”

RelSci CEO Domenic Graziosi

Radar provides greater visibility into the relationship capital of a firm, delivering insights about networks across the enterprise.  Along with company and contact news, RelSci offers the best path for reaching out to prospects.         

“Radar generated insights are derived from Exchange scanning for specified users,” explained RelSci Data Product Manager Brian Hyman. “You need to opt-in for Radar to scan your interactions, meaning that the insights derived from this scanning will only be available for participants.  However, RelSci users that do not participate in Radar scanning, but are part of an organization that has Radar participants, will be able to leverage insights generated by those Radar participants.”

Security is controllable at the account level, with each user deciding whether to participate in network sharing.  

“You can opt-out of Radar entirely to prevent confidential information from being shared,” wrote Hyman. “You can also set specific sharing rules within every client account to prevent Radar data from certain users from being shared with other specified users.  You can also prevent certain content from being scanned by Radar (emails marked as personal, private, confidential, etc.).”

To expedite account setup, admins can assign accounts to Exchange distribution lists maintained by their clients.

RelSci has constructed profiles for over ten million executives and estimated the connection strength between customers and each individual.


Continue to Part II with coverage of pricing, roadmap, and a discussion of Relationship Capital Management.

TechTarget Q3 2020 Earnings

After a weak second quarter, TechTarget’s revenue rebounded in Q3, rising 7% to $36.2 million (it was 1% in Q2).  Year-to-date revenue hit $102.5 million, up 4.5%.  Long-term revenues, which are primarily subscription contracts to Priority Engine, represented 35% of revenue, the same percentage as Q3 2019.  International sales are up 30%, with strength in both lead-gen services and Priority Engine.

Priority Engine revenue grew 4% during the quarter, with growth slowed by weakness at “smaller customers hesitant to commit to yearlong subscriptions to new products and services.”

TechTarget continues to invest in Priority Engine, releasing a significant upgrade in September that supported prospect-level intent and an improved Salesforce.com integration.  With the release, they initiated a “double-digit price increase” that has been accepted by the market. “We have not had pushback on the pricing so far,” said CEO Mike Cotoia. “So we see that as a positive sign going into 2021.”

Priority Engine’s “early usage is encouraging,” with page views up 80% since January; furthermore, “portal interactions by users that self-identify as salespeople are up over 40% since we released the new sales-friendly version.”

Cotoia called the release the most significant since Priority Engine’s launch.  Unlike previous releases that focused on the marketing function, the latest enhancements were centered around UI enhancements and the sales use case.  Combining account-level intent with prospect-level intent is “really enabling and empowering” sales teams, helping them “rank and prioritize within their own territories.”  Reps now have access to two views: a territory account report and an active prospects report.

Sales reps can now discover intent data and insights for active accounts and prospects within a Visualforce tab in Salesforce.  If a contact isn’t in Salesforce, they can quickly add the contact.

“Building a cohesive and easy-to-use workflow for both marketing and sales has always been in our roadmap,” summed up Cotoia. “The September release has been really, really impactful.”

TechTarget will focus on “leveraging our customer’s first-party data along with our data.  We have other key engagement opt-ins that we are going to be integrating into this as well.”

TechTarget also saw weakness in the large legacy IT vendors, though it was above Q2 numbers, and they anticipate growth in their Global 10 in Q4.  TechTarget has been diversifying its customer base, with the Global 10 accounting for 20% of its customer base, down from 40% a decade ago.

TechTarget anticipates that the shift from event sponsorships to online lead generation will persist after the pandemic.  

“We believe that much of this shift will become permanent as we do not believe the face-to-face business will return to its previous spend levels pre-COVID,” said Cotoia. “This is showing up mostly in our International numbers as those markets had significantly more events as part of their budget mix than in North America.  Today, most of those deals are short term, mirroring the event buy.  The opportunity that we are focused on here is to migrate those budgets from face-to-face to intent-based lead generation and then graduate those customers to annual Priority Engine subscriptions. We believe this is achievable as the vast majority of our customers have a strategic initiative to use data to make their sales and marketing organizations more intelligent, efficient, and effective.”

Customers are focusing on their digital strategy, and TechTarget offers content syndication, content marketing, lead generation, and Priority Engine.  All of these digital offerings help tech firms “get in front of their prospects and their existing customers.”

“Even if it starts with lead-generation and content marketing offerings integrated with some of the brand solutions, at the end of the day, our customers are really focused on leveraging the right intent throughout their marketing and sales cycles when they’re in market,” said Cotoia.  

These lead-gen campaigns provide a beachhead for upgrading to subscription services. “Priority Engine plays a really good place in that as we start transitioning folks from events to content syndication from content syndication to integrated online solution from integrated online intent-driven solutions to Priority Engine integrated campaigns,” said Cotoia. “I think this plays well for us in the long-term.”

“Let’s unpack what we are seeing and what we’ve learned from the pandemic.  First, IT spending is no longer a discretionary item for most companies. They see digital transformation as a necessary investment to remain competitive. This dynamic has benefitted our customers. Second, the migration of IT spending to a subscription model has built in significant resilience and predictability to most of our customer’s business models, which in turn has kept their spending levels on sales and marketing fairly stable as compared to more volatility in past downturns.”

TechTarget CEO Michael Cotoia

Cotoia credited the shift to subscription revenue as a significant contributor to its success during the pandemic. “We are very pleased at how our business has performed during the pandemic. It reinforces that the changes we made to transition our business to a data subscription business is paying off in terms of building a stronger company with a more sticky and predictable revenue stream.”

TechTarget announced Q4 guidance between $42 and $43 million, almost 20% growth year-over-year.  Some of this growth is the transition from events to online, but some is “pent-up budget” from event marketing that has been held in reserve.

“They have end-of-the-year budget, [and] they want to use it,” said Cotoia.  “TechTarget is viewed as a trusted resource.”

Cotoia was asked about ZoomInfo’s acquisition of Clickagy but wasn’t overly concerned about the real-time intent solution, saying that Zoominfo simply acquired its supplier.  Cotoia called it a “smart move,” but not one that significantly changes its offering.  He also applauded Zoominfo’s contact quality, then pivoted to the differences between their services with opted-in reader intent derived from their media sites.

“What we have is what we call real and observed first-party purchase intent.  You have to start with investing in content.  We are 100% focused on the enterprise IT market.  We have the right engagements coming in.  What we know [is] which people are looking at which vendor content or which editorial content or peer-to-peer content, or were doing a search on a very specific technology segment within a very specific region.  That’s real.  It’s very difficult to leverage things like third-party cookies or bidstream data…[with] a lot of questions about that.  It’s only at the account-level.”

Cotoia said that TechTarget’s approach is “very transparent” in its practices, focusing on the “right” engagement and intent signals. “We’re the largest place on the web where enterprise IT vendors publish their content through their marketing efforts.”  TechTarget generates this content across 146 enterprise IT community websites and can tell its Priority Engine customers which articles were read, which white papers were downloaded, which webcasts were viewed, which terms were searched, which competitors are being evaluated, and by whom.  Owned media sites with opted-in readers deliver “real and observed intent and engagement signals that will help power and transition our customers’ sales and marketing efforts” that are data-driven. What’s more, TechTarget’s intent surfaces opportunities at the beginning of the buyer’s journey.

Terminus Acquires GrowFlare

ABM Platform Terminus, which has been on an acquisition binge the past year, added another complementary asset to its platform with the acquisition of sales intelligence vendor GrowFlare.  GrowFlare offers Ideal Customer Profiling (ICP) based on psychographics, which are the common phrases and interests companies share.  Other features include account profiling, prospecting, alerting, and a Chrome extension.  GrowFlare recently doubled its US company dataset to 500,000+ firms.  GrowFlare coverage spans over 90% of “US businesses with Purchasing Power.”

“GrowFlare adds a highly-differentiated level of account intelligence to the Terminus platform,” said Terminus CEO Tim Kopp. “Now teams can identify best-fit target accounts instantly, leverage unmatched AI and psychographic data to know exactly what to say and when, all while being more budget efficient.  This kind of psychographic data has long been used by B2C marketers to profile their future customers and now B2B marketers can as well. This is the modern approach to uncovering target accounts, and accelerates our position as the most intelligent B2B sales and marketing and platform available.”

Terminus likens psychographics to Netflix and Spotify, which can recommend similar content based upon user behavior.  Psychographics extend this logic to account selection. GrowFlare’s unique value proposition is its psychographics.  Most vendors only employ firmographics and technographics in their ICP modeling.

Psychographics are based upon AI and natural language processing of company websites, social media, government filings, job listings, etc.  GrowFlare identifies the “key characteristics that are common across your favorite customers (or any set of companies you want to identify).  From there you can find brand new accounts that match up to your customers, the new product you’re launching, the vertical-specific case study you’re about to drop, and so on.  Enter your favorite customer into GrowFlare and it will spit out hundreds of companies that think and act just like they do, instantly,” blogged Terminus.

When users click on a trending psychographic, they are presented with in-context examples of the phrasing with the term highlighted.  The trending topics and psychographics are “invaluable for marketing and sales personalization,” said GrowFlare Founder and CEO Matt Belkin.

Terminus is also positioning GrowFlare as a new form of “observed intent” versus third-party intent that is simply inferred. “If you’re a data-driven marketer, this should make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up because you know this primary data is a powerful signal coming directly from the accounts you want to target,” crowed Eisenberg.

“Your friends in sales will receive alerts about accounts that are starting to become interested in different things, almost as if it was trending on Twitter. They’ll be able to understand the most important focuses for those businesses, the psychographic topics that are trending, and just how serious they are about those focuses. They’ll know who to reach out to, when to do it, and what to say to deliver a beautifully personalized experience.”

Terminus Blog

Belkin noted that the two firms complement each other, with GrowFlare helping sales and marketing teams efficiently find accounts and Terminus focusing on account engagement.  With the acquisition, revenue teams can target segments based on firmographic, relationship, intent, and now psychographic data.

In GrowFlare, a similar companies New Prospects list includes a Fit Score, which gauges the level of similarity to the target company along with the shared psychographics.  So if a rep just closed a deal at the target, he or she can be confident that the high fit scores are similar in their market positioning.  Fit Scores are exportable to lead scoring models.  A quick view magnifying glass icon displays the trending topics for any of the prospects.

Any Keyword Search or Prospector Active List is automatically setup for alerts, whereby GrowFlare notifies the customer each week of meaningful changes and new prospect opportunities.  When viewed, the table of new prospects includes a Trend score, which is the change in rank position from the prior week.  An Active List focused on competitors will notify sales and marketing when competitor positioning shifts.  This tool would also be valuable for competitive intelligence analysts and business development reps looking to track a narrow universe of competitors or partners.

” Everywhere you look sales and marketing teams are wasting millions of dollars trying to acquire the wrong customers and saying the wrong things.  It’s crazy and the whole approach is broken.  We started GrowFlare to fix it.  You already know your best customers, GrowFlare helps you find 100 more just like them based on their shared interests.  It’s easy to see how focusing on what buyers care about – their psychographics – is far more effective when marketing and selling to them.  It sounds fancy, but it’s the same magic that powers recommendations for Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify in the consumer world.  We just built it for B2B.”

GrowFlare CEO Matt Belkin

Along with Prospector, GrowFlare offers a Prospector Bulk feature that executes against a full customer list.  According to Belkin, “The resulting output averages between 25x-100x more high-fit prospects that sales and that sales and marketing teams can target with account-based outbound campaigns.”

GrowFlare also offers Keyword Search for identifying companies that are using specific terms in their marketing along with shared psychographics, locations, and company sizes.  Boolean operators such as AND, OR, and NOT are supported (e.g. “food delivery” NOT pet).   Keyword search “is valuable if you want to know what companies dominate specific messaging terms or if you are launching a new campaign and want to see who else may be positioned there,” said Belkin.

While many companies offer keyword searching, it is usually against a mined business description.  Only a few products, such as D&B Hoover’s Conceptual Searching, provide broader topical searching to build company lists.

GrowFlare is Terminus’ third acquisition over the past year.  They also acquired Ramble and its Chat Anywhere service and Sigstr for its email signature banner ads and relationship intelligence.

Belkin and the rest of the GrowFlare team are joining Terminus.  Belkin has twenty-five years of SaaS-industry experience at Adobe and Omniture.  At Domo Belkin was the Chief Operating Officer.  Belkin is Terminus’ new EVP of Data, Strategy, and Partnerships.

ABM platforms have emphasized top of the funnel audience engagement and given sales prioritization and messaging short shrift.  GrowFlare will help Terminus pass the ABM baton from marketing to sales.


I profiled the GrowFlare service back in June.

SalesIntel Acquires TUDLA; Adds Marketo Enrichment

Sales Intelligence Platform vendor SalesIntel acquired Latin American technology contacts vendor TUDLA.  The acquisition provides SalesIntel with Latin American data and the TUDLA research team. The TUDLA research team, based in Tijuana, supports a research on-demand call center in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

All TUDLA employees, including CEO Gary Gorton and contract research staff, are joining SalesIntel.

TUDLA has over sixty Fortune 500 customers that license human-verified contacts for the Latin American region.  TUDLA CEO, Gary Gorton will be assuming a strategic business development role, helping cross-sell the complementary contact databases and SalesIntel’s B2B DaaS offerings.

“This acquisition gives SalesIntel a fantastic opportunity to offer our customers high-quality B2B data and intelligence, which now includes the LATAM marketplace. We are especially pleased that Gary Gorton (CEO of TUDLA) and many members of the TUDLA team with decades of experience will join SalesIntel as we integrate TUDLA’s LATAM B2B data, customers, and research processes into the SalesIntel platform.”

SalesIntel CEO Manoj Ramnani

TUDLA covers 34 countries across Central and South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.  The firm has one million verified Latin American contacts and another six million mined regional contacts.

SalesIntel also expanded its EMEA coverage with contacts for fourteen new countries, including France, Germany, Benelux, Italy, Ireland, Spain, New Zealand, Israel, and the UAE.  The TUDLA dataset will be available later this month in SalesIntel platforms.  The SalesIntel database has grown to over 6.5 million human-verified and over 80 million machine-processed contacts.

SalesIntel also announced that it supports Marketo data enrichment on both a batch and real-time basis.  Marketers may auto-enrich web forms and maintain contact and account records with current firmographic, biographic, and technographic intelligence.

Data enrichment may be performed as

  • Triggered webhooks that execute when new records are added to Marketo
  • Scheduled webhooks that regularly execute to prevent database decay
  • Filtered webhooks that run against a subset of records such as MQLs, event lists, and webinar registrations

SalesIntel supports dynamic forms that hide fields available from their reference database.  The auto-fill feature reduces the time spent entering data, lowering the likelihood of form abandonment, and improving the ROI of marketing campaigns.  Dynamic forms also enhance the user experience as prospects have fewer fields to enter and improve data accuracy and form completeness.

With dynamic forms, you can significantly reduce the number of fields by skipping those that could be automatically filled using third-party data,” blogged Creative Director and Marketing Coordinator, Ariana Shannon. “This smarter type of web form will allow you to capture more leads without having to sacrifice the data your sales and marketing teams require to convert them.  Leads who fill out a form will easily navigate through the form, be prompted with suggestions, and avoid the frustrations and reservations associated with filling out multiple fields.”

SalesIntel already supports lead prospecting for Marketo.

SalesIntel is on track to more than double its revenue in 2020.  Ramnani sees many opportunities for his firm as market consolidation has reduced the number of vendors.  Ramnani positions SalesIntel as a high-quality data competitor to Zoominfo.

Warmly, Seed Round

Warm leads startup Warmly, (yes, with a comma as when signing a letter), raised a $2.1 million seed round led by NFX.  Y Combinator, Matchstick Ventures, Scribble Ventures, Mike Vernal of Sequoia, and Harry Stebbings’s 20VC also joined.

The new funds will be used to build out their sales team and hire additional engineers to embed machine-learning capabilities into their software.

“We want to end cold outreach altogether because we should be able to show you the shortest-path warm intro into any company you want to sell to, and the number of hops [it] takes to get there,” said Warmly CEO Max Greenwald

Warmly tracks job changes and tracks champions that have decamped to other companies.  They leverage a firm’s CRM to identify relationship strength and identify former users of a firm’s products and services.  Alerts are sent to sales reps when a former user or advocate resurfaces at other organizations.  Warmly also notifies the customer success team when a user or advocate has left.

“We’re going to make customer success teams more powerful than sales teams in generating revenue.  Now that 84% of all b2b sales come from a referral, traditional methods of customer acquisition like outbound sales & marketing are less effective.  Warmly is building the first ever customer network graph, a novel way to leverage customers to drive new sales.”

Warmly, Website

Warmly was founded in early 2020 by three former Googlers (Greenwald, CTO Carina Boo, and Chief Product Officer Val Yermakova) and VP of Engineering Alan Zhao.

“They’ve got this wide-open market.  It’s this fantastic fertile soil [that] they’ve put themselves in,” says NFX managing partner and Warmly board member James Currier.  Currier also emphasized that customer success software is in its early stage of development.

ZoomInfo Acquires EverString (Part III)

Company counts will hit 100M once the Everstring Business Graph is incorporated into their coverage.

Last week, ZoomInfo announced that it was acquiring Business Graph vendor EverString to grow its company coverage five-fold.


ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck noted that large enterprises license and integrate a broad set of content from many vendors.  They struggle to “stitch” all these disparate content sets together via “a complicated system relying on data analysts, engineers, and product managers.”  Furthermore, different analysts manage datasets for other countries, further complicating the situation.  “Each one restarts a process of understanding the nuances and integrating, normalizing, matching, managing, and maintaining that unique data source.”

This data sourcing and loading process is “inefficient, costly, and introduces a complex web of operational challenges and compliance vulnerabilities.”  Data ends up being siloed and fragmented, reducing its value to the organization.  “It has to be integrated, unified, validated, cleansed, enriched, deduplicated, and delivered to the right people and systems, at the right time, in the right form for it to unlock the value it was intended to create.”

Shuck argues that other vendors overly complicate data projects and offer expensive consultations and complex solutions.  ZoomInfo’s vision is to be the “first unified, single source of truth for sales, marketing, and all other go-to-market functions.”

“With the data from EverString, ZoomInfo will provide data on virtually every high-level parent company, local parent company, franchise, and satellite office in America.  This broader data set enables better search, scoring, and account assignment, and provides greater access to buyers and buying centers.”

CEO Henry Schuck

“The combined ZoomInfo and EverString data asset will be unparalleled in the marketplace,” said EverString CEO J.J. Kardwell.  “We’re excited to join ZoomInfo and work together to bring sellers and marketers the most extensive company and professional data that will help make their go-to-market motions even more effective and efficient.”

Kardwell will serve as an advisor to ZoomInfo and will remain with ZoomInfo through the transition.

ZoomInfo is moving to combine the two databases quickly.  As it has a track record of acquiring and rapidly integrating datasets, the merged database should be available soon (ZoomInfo declined to provide a target date).  In the meantime, customers can already enrich data via a superset of the EverString and ZoomInfo databases. Financial terms were not disclosed, but ZoomInfo indicated the deal was not expected to have a material effect on the fourth quarter.