Lusha Series B

Crowdsourced contact vendor Lusha closed on a $205 million Series B that valued the company at $1.5 billion.  Growth equity firm PSG led both the Series A and B rounds.  ION Crossover Partners also joined the B round, which brought total Lusha investment to $245 million.

Following its February Series A, Lusha invested in its go-to-market strategy and trebled its growth rate.

“We were still bootstrapped one year ago when we understood that we have a big opportunity to surge forward.  We have since tripled our revenue growth rate, and that is why we required another funding round faster than we thought,” explained CEO Yoni Tserruya.  “The next stage will be to go public.  I’m not sure when that will be, but it will take at least two more years.  We are seeing many companies that are going public too early and are facing difficulties in making projections and meeting expectations.”

The additional funds will be deployed towards building out its community of 800,000 B2B sales professionals “into the industry’s largest,” expanding its global presence, and continuing to focus on data quality, compliance, features, and ease of use.

“We have been following Lusha’s progress over the last two years and found the team’s vision and execution highly impressive. As sales teams continue to leverage data to drive their go-to-market strategies, Lusha is becoming an integral product for teams to optimize their outreach to improve overall win rates. With Lusha’s data significantly increasing the value and ROI realized by sales teams, we are excited to be a part of this next chapter in Lusha’s remarkable journey.”

Gili Iohan, General Partner at ION Crossover Partners

“Our primary goal is to give every salesperson, regardless of size or budget, access to the highest quality data at the most affordable price while championing world-class standards of privacy and compliance,” said President Assaf Eisenstein.  “With this funding round, we will continue to invest highly in our data infrastructure and privacy standards to provide optimal levels of compliance and security for Lusha’s 800,000+ community members,” said Assaf Eisenstein, Co-founder and President of Lusha.

Contact data is gathered from a Community service that ingests email headers and signature blocks to maintain business card and email signature data.  Data is also collected from publicly available sources, third-party licensing, and algorithmic data appending (e.g., email templates).  Lusha claims that its community members help Lusha deliver “the most accurate data through constant validation and enrichment of its database.” 

As part of its GDPR and CCPA compliance program, individuals are notified when they’ve been added to the database.  Only business data is gathered, with no Personally Identifiable Information collected.

Lusha provides 100 million business profiles, 60 million email addresses, and 50 million direct dials across 15 million companies.

The Lusha browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge sends contacts from Gmail, social media, and B2B sites directly to Salesforce, HubSpot, Pipedrive, Zoho, SalesLoft, and Outreach.  Users license credits individually or for a team, with the admin allocating credits.  Lusha also supports Salesforce bulk enrichment and a contacts API.

Lusha employs a freemium model for limited contact information lookup, but users must pay to export data, build prospect lists, enrich files, and integrate with CRMs and SEPs. Annual pricing is shown.

Lusha helps sales professionals identify their ideal buyers and tailor their message to potential customers.

“Similar to the shift that marketing underwent a decade ago, sales professionals are abandoning spray and pray outreach, in favor of super-targeted selling based on data,” said Tserruya.  “Lusha enables all salespeople to utilize data to recognize their most relevant opportunities and maximize revenue in a simple, easy-to-use solution.  We look forward to using this funding to be at the forefront of this industry shift and grow Lusha into the largest B2B sales community”.

Lusha is rapidly growing, adding 29 staffers last month.  It grew 45% over the past six months and 103% over the past year to 229 employees.  Engineering grew 170% over the past year to 55 employees.  Their other top departments are Sales (34 headcount, up 106%), Support (22 headcount, up 175%), and IT (21 headcount, up 91%).

The Israeli firm expects to end the year with 240 employees, twenty in its Boston office.

Lusha, founded in 2016, lists 32 open positions: five sales and support openings in Boston and twenty-seven openings in Tel Aviv across engineering, data, R&D, product, marketing, sales, HR, compliance, finance, and customer success.

Lusha’s customers include Facebook, Google, Dropbox, and Uber.  Most of its customers are B2B SaaS companies, but it’s also used by VCs, investors, and recruiting agencies.

SalesIntel Launches Two Products

Sales Intelligence and B2B DaaS vendor SalesIntel announced two products at its inaugural SAS2021 user conference last month.  CEO Manoj Ramnani founded SalesIntel a decade ago as Circleback, a contact enrichment and syncing service for inboxes, but pivoted the firm to focus on high-quality B2B data three years ago and rebranded the company SalesIntel. 

SalesIntel was born “with a mission to provide quality data, timely intelligence, and streamlined workflow to help businesses achieve their growth objectives.”  Its guiding principle, and unique value proposition, is keeping humans in the loop.  Human-verified data is re-verified every 90 days, providing them with a 95% contact accuracy claim.

At launch, the company had 50,000 human-verified companies and one million contacts.  Three years later, the company has

  • 87 million machine-verified contacts
  • 10 million human-verified contacts, 90% of which are North American.
  • 14 million machine-verified company profiles
  • 3 million human-verified company profiles

They have also partnered with Bombora for intent data and an undisclosed vendor for technographics.

The first new service, Data Enrichment, provides company, contact, and technographic data enrichment for Marketo, Salesforce, and uploaded CSV files.  Data matching is performed against email, phone, domain, company name, and contact name.  Fuzzy logic is employed for company and contact name matching.

SalesIntel Enrichment Report in Salesforce.

The service includes a PDF downloadable enrichment report that details data quality and fill rates.  If the admin is concerned about the enrichment, she may roll back the process.

SalesIntel also supports webform enrichment.

InboxIntel supports contact data syncing and enrichment from Gmail, Office 365, Exchange, and IMAP.  New contacts are ingested from signature blocks, matched against the SalesIntel database, and uploaded to Salesforce.   It is important to note that SalesIntel is not uploading and storing the data in their servers to build out its dataset but simply using it to populate and enrich its customers’ CRM.

InboxIntel also checks to see whether other new contacts at the company match a pre-defined buyer persona.  The service then asks whether these additional contacts should be added to the service.

InboxIntel identifies additional contacts in target personas.

If both the company and contact are new to the CRM, records may be added to Salesforce as leads or accounts and contacts.

Both products are available as beta services through the end of the year. After that, they will be packaged as separate offerings.  Ramnani described them as “new modules of our Modern Go-to-Market platform that will help with the firm’s continued growth.”

SalesIntel has grown to 400 employees and 2,000 global researchers.  The company supports over 1,000 companies and nearly 10,000 users.

SalesIntel posted 200% revenue growth over the past year.

Apollo.IO $32M Series B

Sales Intelligence and Engagement vendor Apollo.io closed a $32 million Series B led by Tribe Capital, with participation from NewView Capital and existing investor Nexus Venture Partners. In addition, Sri Pangulur, a partner at Tribe Capital, joined Apollo.io’s board.  Total funding sits at $41.3 million.

Apollo is deploying the funds towards building out its product and engineering teams.  It will also expand its sales, marketing, and operational resources, including additional leadership hires.

In a blog announcing the transaction, CEO Tim Zheng admitted that the Apollo brand is not well known and that Apollo will be using the funds to address brand weakness.  “Our next steps include increasing awareness of Apollo, increasing our user base outside of small teams, and building out an intelligence layer in Apollo to make individual sales reps and teams more successful.”

Apollo is growing rapidly, with its customer base increasing 200% over the past year despite awareness issues.  It has been profitable for the past eighteen months and has more than one million users and 9,000 paid customers.

Recent enhancements include an international dialer, contact and company data improvements, and prospecting and Chrome extension upgrades.

“Apollo is challenging the status quo in B2B lead intelligence and sales engagement by making contact data and prospecting tools in this space more accessible,” said Pangulur. “Seeing the company’s incredible growth over the past year, enhanced product offerings, and new client acquisitions, we are confident in Apollo’s ability to disrupt the SalesTech market for B2B companies, offering a more intelligent, more cost-effective, and simpler solution.”

Apollo falls into a category that I’ve labeled Hybrid Engagement that combines sales engagement tools with sales intelligence and B2B DaaS.  Other vendors with Hybrid Engagement capabilities include ZoomInfo, Cognism, Data Axle Genie, and VanillaSoft.

“Sales professionals at B2B companies are burdened by a go-to-market process that’s manual, tedious, and complex. It’s stifled by convoluted workflows, very little guidance, lengthy onboarding, and high price tags for name-brand solutions,” said CEO Tim Zheng. “This funding will help us further accelerate our product-led growth model, which has seen tremendous success in the contact data space. 

“Apollo’s vision is to give its customers the most powerful and intelligent GTM platform in the industry, so they can reach their full market potential,” continued Zheng. “We want to make access to B2B data even easier, while enhancing the data with sales intelligence and automated workflows.”

Apollo Job Change Alerts

Apollo has assembled a database of 200 million contacts across ten million companies.  Data include direct-dial phones, emails, funding intelligence, technographics, and job changes.  Apollo’s dataset supports direct research, lead prospecting, and LinkedIn matching via a Chrome Extension. In addition, Apollo Refresh performs real-time updates in Salesforce.

Sales Engagement features include sequences (cadences), automated emails, A/B testing, a click-to-call dialer, and a rules engine.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, buyers want an Amazon-like experience where companies are anticipating their needs. You need user data to better drive the sales experience, and as it evolves more personalized capabilities as well,” said Zheng.  “Apollo has some unique positioning in that they are doing product-led growth, but also covering the data stack as well.”

Apollo employs a freemium model with ten free exports per month, the Chrome extension, a Gmail extension, and limited sequences. 

Basic, at $49 per user per month ($39 billed annually), provides 250 export credits per month, unlimited sequences, email integrations, and a broader set of reports and Dashboards. 

The Professional edition adds the dialer, call recordings, customizable reports, and 1,000 exports per month.  Professional is priced at $99 per user per month when billed monthly and $79 per user per month when billed annually.

There are additional fees for full Salesforce synchronization, API access, Apollo Refresh, and exporting up to 10,000 records at a time. In addition, advanced dialer features (e.g., international dialing, call transcription, local presence, and CRM logging) are only available as part of custom packages.

Apollo employs a freemium model with 9,000 paid customers.

LeadIQ $30M Series B

Account Based Prospecting Platform LeadIQ announced a $30 million Series B led by Cathay Innovation, with Fresco Capital, Strong Ventures, and Eight Road Ventures joining the round.  The round brings total funding to $42 million.

The funds will be deployed to accelerate the product roadmap in account prioritization, buying team and contact personalization, and sales team collaboration.  Funds will also be used to fill key management positions for managing its growth and expansion as CEO Mei Siauw plans to double the firm’s headcount over the next eighteen months.

LeadIQ still has $6 million available from its Series A but is looking to expand from lead management into broader account management; thus, it is raising the necessary funds for new product development. 

According to Cathay Innovation, LeadIQ has “some of the best enterprise SaaS unit economics we’ve seen.”

Alex Wilhelm at TechCrunch reported that “the company also sports net retention figures of around 125% and a strong ratio of account size versus customer acquisition costs.  Those are the sorts of metrics that SaaS investors covet.”

LeadIQ, founded in 2015, is based in San Francisco and Singapore.  It employs a remote workforce of 115 in 22 countries and serves companies in 45 countries.  Over the past year, the company quadrupled its ARR to “eight digits.”  The firm supports over 20,000 sales professionals across 1,200 enterprise and mid-market deployments.

LeadIQ automates sales rep prospecting workflows.

LeadIQ functionality helps sales teams “focus on the right activities and automate the rest.”  Its Chrome extension supports prospecting and lead capture from LinkedIn Sales Navigator, capturing both individual contacts and filtered contact lists.  Leads may be exported to Salesforce, HubSpot, Outreach, and Salesloft, with duplicates blocked.  Contacts sent to Outreach and Salesloft kick off cadences.

“With 65% of teams missing revenue targets, outbound sales efficiency is a major challenge for enterprises globally,” said founder and CEO Mei Siauw. “Today, account-based prospecting is still highly manual and time-consuming thanks to fragmented data across multiple systems, repetitive busywork, low-quality research, and varying privacy laws. We built LeadIQ to help sales teams everywhere make authentic prospect connections with a more thoughtful approach. The numbers speak volumes, where we tripled growth in our enterprise and mid-market segments year-over-year. With this latest financing, we look forward to working with current and new investors like Cathay Innovation, who have the global reach and local market expertise across the US, Europe, and Asia to help us scale further during this next phase of growth.”

LeadIQ CEI Mei Siauw

Other features include

  • Email verification
  • Lead, Contacts, and Account enrichment and update
  • Territory management recognizes when reps are capturing leads that do not conform with their territory
  • Contact tracking that alerts reps when contacts change companies or titles.
  • An admin portal that helps customers comply with regulations such as GDPR and CCPA

“Led by a resilient and tenacious CEO with incredible vision, LeadIQ offers a next-gen platform that is the glue that unifies sales at the top of the funnel to provide the most comprehensive solution on the market,” said Cathay Innovation CEO Denis Barrier.  “Its workflow automation builds a strong moat and competitive advantage, which is critical with the pandemic-era digital transformation and subsequent talent wars forcing sales leaders to prioritize efficiency and effectiveness beyond the quota. We look forward to leveraging our resources worldwide to accelerate the company further onto the global stage.”

LeadIQ begins at $720 per rep on an annual basis for the Starter Plan.  Sales reps receive 250 verified emails per month and 25 mobile numbers.  However, the Starter Plan only supports Google Sheets and HubSpot Capture.

The Pro Plan doubles the price and monthly data plan.  Pro includes Salesforce and SEP integrations and lets users enrich CSV files of up to 100 rows.

Pricing for the Enterprise Edition runs at $135 per rep per month and includes job change notifications, prospecting, a team analytics dashboard, and priority support.  The Enterprise plan requires a minimum of twenty users, so it begins at $32,400. LeadIQ did not disclose its current valuation.

Introhive – BoardEx Partnership

Introhive and BoardEx announced a partnership that will “enable shared clients to uncover more high-quality connections and business opportunities that accelerate growth.”  The partnership will assist with discovering opportunities, deepening relationships, increasing internal collaboration, and mitigating risk.

“We are excited to offer our clients a joint solution with BoardEx,” said Diana Sapienza, Global Head of Strategic Partnerships and Alliances at Introhive. “With Introhive’s advanced AI-powered relationship mapping, automation, and enrichment capabilities and the BoardEx alerts on role and/or company changes at the executive and board level, our clients can better manage their ever-growing networks to spot opportunities sooner and grow their businesses faster.”

BoardEx, a division of Euromoney People Intelligence, employs a team of over 300 global research analysts focused on mapping relationships between more than 1.5 million business leaders and decision-makers.

“Having a resilient network is critical to the success of any business, and that resiliency relies on the ability to understand and leverage the most impactful professional relationships,” explained Jubayer Kalam, Head of Product for BoardEx. “We are excited to partner with Introhive by embedding BoardEx data and insights directly into their environment for our mutual clients.”

Introhive, which describes itself as a Relationship Acceleration Platform, released a set of enhancements last month that include a new Salesforce Sales Activity Dashboard, Business Intelligence Webhooks, MS Dynamics hygiene tools, and an Outlook Intelligence Panel Search.

Introhive Sales Activity Dashboard for Salesforce

The new Sales Activity Dashboard “cuts through the noise of activity data and delivers the signal directly to sales professionals and leaders alike,” blogged Lead Product Marketer Julie Taylor.  “At a glance, Sales Leaders can get a sense for the type and volume of activities their teams are investing their time in, and individual sellers can keep a pulse on their own activity levels to see where they stand.”

The Sales Activity Dashboard is available at both the team and individual rep levels.  The report summarizes calls, meetings, and email volumes over the past seven and thirty days.

Global View of Relationships Dashboard is one of Introhive’s new BI webhooks.

New Business Intelligence Webhooks include a Global View of Relationships, Account Relationships Dashboard, and Activities Dashboard.

Introhive’s Cleanse for Microsoft Dynamics added contact record merging and archiving stale records.  The service already supported CRM contact data entry and updates. “Understanding your data provides your team with powerful capabilities. 

Your success lies in the ability of your people to understand your data and use it to make better decisions,” explained Taylor.  “The faster you can make sense of your data by transforming it from information to insights, the further you and your team can go.”

ZoomInfo Business Contact Preference Registry

ZoomInfo launched its Business Contact Preference Registry (BCPR), a centralized registry for recording B2B opt-out requests which will be shared across the industry.  The BCPR is ZoomInfo’s latest step in burnishing its data privacy positioning.

“The collection of data is central to businesses in the B2B data industry, but the responsibility of ethical data stewardship falls onto the shoulders of each individual company,” wrote the firm.  “As industry leaders in data privacy, ZoomInfo has made it easier for businesses in the B2B data marketplace to address the preferences of consumers by building, maintaining, and sharing access to the BCPR.”

“It’s critical for data-focused companies to prioritize privacy. The Business Contact Preference Registry offers businesses a convenient way to prioritize privacy by supplying the entire B2B data industry with a ready-made list of consumer opt-outs. We’re proactively sharing our opt-outs as an invitation to B2B companies to join us in putting privacy first.”

Bubba Nunnery, ZoomInfo’s Senior Director of Privacy and Public Policy

I had been flagging data privacy as a weakness in ZoomInfo’s model, which could slow their entry to the European market post-COVID, but they have been actively working to shore up their data privacy practices and demonstrate that they are respectful of the data they hold. 

ZoomInfo developed a proactive data compliance program based upon “notice and choice” that notifies business professionals about ZoomInfo’s data.  The program is global in scope, so not limited to countries that require notifications.  ZoomInfo also expanded its data privacy team earlier this year, naming Hannah Zimmerman, ZoomInfo’s Privacy Counsel and Bubba Nunnery, Senior Director, Privacy and Public Policy.

ZoomInfo data privacy certifications

“Our business is founded on the trust our customers have in our data,” said General Counsel Anthony Stark back in March. “Collecting data is central to all businesses, and it’s our job to be ethical stewards of the data we hold.  ZoomInfo adheres to its core privacy tenets of transparency and control, showcasing that we are respectful of the rights of consumers while providing critical service to our customers.”

In May, ZoomInfo announced that it received GDPR and CCPA Practices Validation from TrustArc, saying that its policies “are in line with the strictest privacy regulations in the world.”

“Organizations of all sizes must become privacy-forward to earn the trust of their customers,” said Chris Babel, CEO, TrustArc. “ZoomInfo understands that building trust requires an ongoing, scalable approach to data privacy. The organization has consistently prioritized privacy as the enabler of a better experience for its customers and their subscribers, and the TrustArc GDPR and CCPA Validations reinforce that standing.”

“ZoomInfo is leading the way in data privacy.  We are working to accept opt-outs from other vendors as part of our efforts to elevate privacy standards across the B2B data industry.”

CEO Henry Schuck

The BCPR is an excellent idea, but I’m not sure whether the registry should be hosted by one of the major vendors in the space.  ZoomInfo plans on accepting opt outs from other vendors, but It is unclear whether other vendors would promote ZoomInfo in the lead data collection role. Preferably, it would be hosted by a government agency such as the FTC, which manages the US Do Not Call Registry, or a neutral body similar to the ICANN domain registry.  DataGrail, a leader in data privacy compliance, could administer an independent database across businesses and consumers.

BoardEx Diversity Network

Interlocks research platform BoardEx added Board Diversity variables that track membership in ethnicity association networks.  The system tracks “champions, allies, and advocates of specific ethnicities in leadership roles.  It comprises multiple networks of associations representing a specific ethnicity – referred to as ethnicity association networks.”  Seventeen thousand execs are tracked, along with execs that have received awards from association members.

BoardEx covers two million companies and 1.5 million executives, with data maintained by 350 editors.

“Our clients are seeking ways to help their own clients improve ethnic and other forms of diversity within their own organizations and report on their progress with this change,” says BoardEx CEO Cameron Ireland.  “The new network helps you connect with members of over 2,600 ethnicity associations that actively champion ethnic diversity.  It also surfaces people who have received awards recognizing their contribution to ethnic diversity in business from publicly available information.”

Along with collecting the Board Diversity data, BoardEx will be working with clients and partners to

  1. Champion the efforts of diversity associations to help raise awareness for groups who are historically underrepresented.
  2. Enhance the ability of companies to discover and connect with talented leaders of different ethnic, racial and functional backgrounds to build leadership teams, C-suites, and boards that reflect their customers and wider society.
  3. Empower professionals to analyze diversity trends within workplaces in order to create transparency and accountability around different diversity attributes.

The new selects are available to all clients.

BoardEx is owned by Euromoney which has assembled a set of complementary services in its People Intelligence business:  WealthEngine, BoardEx, and Wealth-X.  WealthEngine provides wealth and lifestyle insights on 300 million Americans and 122 million households. Wealth-X profiles the global wealthy.

Following the December acquisition of WealthEngine, Euromoney stated that “the Group now has full coverage across the wealth intelligence value chain, which is a growing information-services market.”

Dun & Bradstreet Launches D&B Email IQ

Dun & Bradstreet recently launched D&B Email IQ, which “allows clients to get some free data from us — a number of free data contacts per month,” said CEO Anthony Jabbour. The service is an automated data exchange with email signature blocks mined in exchange for access to Dun & Bradstreet’s company and contact intelligence.

D&B Email IQ is an Outlook plug-in that displays company and contact intelligence, contact and prospect recommendations, and related companies. Firmographics include address, phone, social links, sizing data, ultimate parent, and D-U-N-S Numbers.

D&B Email IQ users that share signature blocks receive 50 free leads (e.g. additional contacts at a company) per month.  Users that only share emails receive ten emails per month.  There is also a ten lead bonus for referrals.

D&B Email IQ appears to be a tool for collecting email signature blocks similar to Zoominfo’s Community edition.  According to their FAQ, “Business contact data collected via D&B Email IQ may be incorporated into the Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud and be used to enhance and improve our products by enabling businesses to manage their financial risks, protect against fraud and dishonesty, know who they are doing business with, meet their compliance and regulatory obligations and better understand organizations, industries and markets.  Where permitted under applicable law, this information may also be used for sales and marketing purposes.”

Unlike the Zoominfo Community Edition, the Dun & Bradstreet contacts are integrated into the Outlook workflow.

Dun & Bradstreet states that collected data includes emails, meeting invitations, and signature blocks, including “name, job title and department, company name, email address, telephone number, fax number, company address, corporate URL, and social networking URL.”

Dun & Bradstreet is being careful to comply with data privacy rules including GDPR, CCPA, and CASL.  The plug-in is blocked in Europe and they are careful not to collect data about EU citizens.  To ensure GDPR compliance, records with European emails, phones, or addresses are filtered out of the database so not available for sharing.  As GDPR is extra-territorial, it is critical that private data concerning EU citizens not be collected and shared without opted-in permission, even if all of the parties sharing, collecting, and using the data are outside of the EU.

To comply with CCPA, no California mobile numbers are collected.  To comply with the Canadian CASL regulations, no Canadian emails are collected.

D&B Email IQ users are likely to be small businesses and job seekers.  Larger firms are less likely to permit sharing of emails and signature blocks.  Small firms with fewer resources would be more willing to trade signature block intelligence for fifty leads per month.  Assuming a value of $1 per record for detailed contact profiles at small firms, the potential market value of the leads is over $500 per user.

VanillaSoft Acquires Autoklose (Part II)

Yesterday, I covered VanillaSoft’s acquisition of Autoklose and plans to integrate its email marketing capabilities into the VanillaSoft Sales Engagement Platform. Autoklose will also continue as a standalone offering for SMBs.

The acquisition included the DataUnlimited US B2B contact dataset. VanillaSoft users will be able to subscribe to or purchase leads from both the Autoklose and VanillaSoft platforms.  DataUnlimited spans 40 million US B2B contacts that are revalidated in real-time.  Contact records include name, company, email, phone, address, SIC, URL, and LinkedIn URL.  DataUnlimited is supported by a ten-person data team that verifies data and performs custom research.

Autoklose competitors include Mixmax, Reply.io, Apollo.io, and Cognism.

Following the acquisition, VanillaSoft described itself as a “Tier-2 data provider” that offers B2B contacts.  They target the SMB market and “real-world industries,” such as professional and financial services, manufacturing, and educational fundraising.  Their clients are not bleeding-edge tech firms or large enterprises but smaller firms with full lifecycle sales reps.  Typical customers are price sensitive and resource-constrained with high turnover.  As such, they are late adopters of technology that highly value a solution’s ease-of-use.  VanillaSoft noted that 40% of their customers have yet to deploy a CRM.

“SMBs are looking for ROI, not AI,” stated the firm.

According to VanillaSoft CRO Darryl Praill, “Sales Engagement will become the primary platform used by Sales teams, just as Marketing Automation has become the primary platform used by Marketers.”  Furthermore, the vision of SEPs will expand as they add ABM workflows, marketing automation, contacts, opportunity management, forecasting, chat, and video.

“VanillaSoft will offer a broad, pragmatic sales engagement platform that meets the diverse requirements and price-points of SMB sales teams or individuals in traditional industries,” said Praill.  This will include industry-specific versions of the platform to meet the unique requirements of their core industries.

“One of my favorite things to say when a customer or prospect praises our product is to point out that if they like what VanillaSoft is today, they are going to love what it is tomorrow. We’re making this promise a reality by continuing to grow internal development and incorporating great teams and technology to deliver the best sales engagement tools available.”

VanillaSoft CEO David Hood

VanillaSoft’s acquisition of Autoklose is a smart, strategic move that enhances both its email capabilities and its B2B prospect intelligence.  Sales Engagement vendors have been slow to integrate verified leads into their platforms.  Even the market leaders have developed little more than third-party ‘Send to SEP’ functionality.  

Integrated prospecting will be particularly valuable to VanillaSoft’s customer base of SMBs serving insurance, finance, and manufacturing.  This intelligence gap has led some Sales Intelligence vendors to incorporate a subset of SEP features into their offerings, thus becoming Hybrid Engagement Platforms.  HEP features include cadences (Zoominfo, Cognism, Data Axle Genie), dialers (Zoominfo, Data Axle Genie), email (Zoominfo, Cognism, Data Axle Genie), email signature management (Cognism/Mailtastic), messaging (LinkedIn Sales Navigator), and event-triggered workflows (Zoominfo).

Privately-held VanillaSoft is based in Plano, TX and Gatineau, Quebec.  The firm is profitable with 6oo customers and 4,000 users (pre-acquisition).  With Autoklose, they now have 88 employees, up 34% this year.  New executives include Shawn Finder (Sales GM); Marko Dinic (Fractional CTO); Vladan Djokic (Senior Dev Lead); and Vedran Rasic (Director, Marketing).

Autoklose was on track for a record year at the time of the acquisition, despite a revenue dip at the beginning of the pandemic.

SalesIntel Launches VisitorIntel

B2B DaaS vendor SalesIntel added visitor intelligence (first-party intent data) to its marketing capabilities.  VisitorIntel matches website traffic to companies and enriches the subsequent event records with firmographics, technographics, and contacts.  Visitor intelligence provides an early warning system that a company is being researched before anybody registers for a white paper or requests a callback.

SalesIntel also has a partnership with Bombora for their B2B intent data derived from a co-op of media sites.  Thus, SalesIntel users have access to both first and third-party intent intelligence.  The firm licenses IP and cookie to domain data, but most of the VisitorIntel intellectual property was developed internally.

Marketers insert a few lines of JavaScript into their corporate website to enable VisitorIntel.   SalesIntel then matches visitor activity to company domains and associated account intelligence.  While the visitors are anonymous, sales or marketing can reach out to targeted personas at the company, leveraging SalesIntel’s universe of recently verified contacts with emails, mobile numbers, and direct dials.  If relevant contacts are not available for the account, users may avail themselves of SalesIntel’s Research on Demand service.

Marketers may filter the visitor window (e.g. today, yesterday, this week, this month) to view recent site activity.  Site activity may be downloaded as a CSV or uploaded to Salesforce, HubSpot, Marketo, Outreach, or SalesLoft.  When sent to SalesLoft or Outreach, a cadence / sequence can be initiated.

VisitorIntel should be viewed as a V1 release.  Activity is processed daily, with plans for real-time updates.  Its reporting is also fairly simple.

“It always helps our sales and marketing teams shorten sales cycles when we are able to target companies that have expressed interest in our products and services, and website visits are a terrific indicator of that interest.  If we can find the people who are checking us out on the web, and easily find the other people in that organization who we might want to reach out to, we are ahead of the game.  We believe our clients can similarly benefit, so we conceived and launched VisitorIntel within our SaaS product.”

SalesIntel CEO Manoj Ramnani

VisitorIntel is available as part of SalesIntel’s Pro premium package that also includes data enrichment and Bombora intent.  Pro pricing begins in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.

SalesIntel also added keyword searching to its list building.  SalesIntel filtered two million terms down to 70,000 searchable keywords.  Keywords let marketers identify prospects based on ideal buyer persona or targeted messaging.

“Good, clean, and insightful data is the true enabler for sales and marketing teams, and it is core to our mission to provide our clients with as much detail as we can so that they can truly know their target buyer,” said CEO Manoj Ramnani.  “Keywords will greatly benefit our user base by providing that extra level of detail.”

SalesIntel has trebled its customer base over the past year, benefiting from market consolidation and its high-quality data positioning.  Sales slowed during the first two months of the pandemic, but have picked up with a strong pipeline.

SalesIntel continues to build out its database of quarterly re-verified contacts, reaching 6.2 million this month.  They have begun to internationalize this dataset.