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.

Openprise $16M Series A

RevOps Automation Platform Openprise closed on an oversubscribed Series A last month.  The $16 million round was led by SIG Asia Investment, an affiliate of the Susquehanna International Group, with new investments from Banyan Pacific and Citta Capital.  Existing investors Alumni Venture Group and AI List also participated.

Funding will accelerate development on the Openprise RevOps Automation Platform and scale up the sales and marketing teams.

Openprise supports data management, enrichment, and hygiene across sales, marketing, customer success, BI, and analytics platforms.  Features include data deduplication, data onboarding, lead-to-account matching, lead routing, attribution, and account scoring.

Openprise RevOps automation capabilities.

Openprise cited a recent Gartner forecast that 75% of high-growth companies will deploy a RevOps model by 2025.  “A move from sales enablement to revenue enablement is needed in today’s rapidly shifting buying and selling dynamic to support this RevOps imperative.”

“Openprise is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the momentum in companies moving to a RevOps model,” stated Anne Marie McCallion, its PR rep.

“When companies move to a RevOps model in order to better align marketing and sales, they soon identify huge gaps in their joint processes and data that aren’t addressed by traditional marketing and sales automation solutions like Marketo, Salesforce, and Salesloft,” said Openprise CEO Ed King.  “Openprise is fueling the RevOps revolution by providing a single, no-code platform that can automate hundreds of RevOps processes and deliver go-to-market-ready data for the entire RevTech stack.”

Openprise customers include UI Path, Vimeo, Zendesk, Okta, Nutanix, Freshworks, Splunk, and Zscaler.

Openprise will face stiffer competition from RingLead, which was acquired by ZoomInfo in September.

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.”

Global Database

Global Database Build a List supports expanded growth, ownership, and industry variables.

UK-based Sales Intelligence vendor Global Database continues to expand its content and functionality.  Recent platform enhancements include expanded prospecting variables, industry coding, and list enrichment.

New screening variables include

  • Annual Growth: Turnover, Headcount, EBITDA, Net Profit, Liabilities, and Exports
  • Ownership: Parents, Number of subsidiaries, Foreign parent, Number of shareholders
  • Industry: European and North American industry codes, Industry Keywords

International SIC and NACE codes are available across the full company universe.  Global Database also implemented an NLP tool that crawls company websites and identifies keywords and business descriptions.  This descriptive content is then mapped to over 100,000 industry keywords.

“The SIC code is outdated when it comes to new industry verticals, such as Big Data or E-commerce, and if you are looking for such companies by SIC Code, they will be classified as: 63990 – Other information service activities n.e.c., explained CEO Nicolae Buldumac to GZ Consulting.

Global Database now supports company and contact list enrichment for Salesforce and MS Dynamics.  Users upload a list that is matched against its reference database and enriched with over 80 variables and match score confidence.  Matching employs registration numbers, corporate names, domains, phone, postal codes, etc. 

Global Database also provides an interactive report with match rates and segmentation.  Enrichment analytics include match rates, list averages, company status distribution, turnover distribution, top five companies, and pie charts for employment, years in business, and industry.  A location map is also displayed.

Other data tools include CRM maintenance, APIs, and web forms with auto-population.

The Global Database universe now spans 130 million companies and 118 million contacts:

Global Database Counts as of October 2021.

Most of its data is from trade registries, publicly available sources, an in-house data research team, and a few data vendor partnerships.  Direct emails are available for 17 million contacts and mobile numbers for 1.6 million.  If a contact does not have an email or phone number, Global Database integrates with two data vendors, where this information is requested via API in real-time.

Global Database continues to expand its universe of credit reports, with instant Business Credit Reports now available for 350 million companies.  If a country does not support instant reports, customers may request a new investigation from on-the-ground resources.  These reports are delivered within five to seven business days.

Credit reports are priced between £19 and £80, with the UK and Irish reports at the low end.  Most continental European credit reports are priced between £35 and £40.  North American reports are also priced at £40.

Global Database Employee tab.

Terminus Acquires Zylotech

Terminus acquired Boston-based B2B Customer Data Platform (CDP) Zylotech and immediately launched the rebranded Terminus CDP as part of its ABM Platform. 

Terminus CDP will be led by Matt Belkin, who has “25 years of experience in building and scaling data and technology companies.”  Belkin joined Terminus last year when it acquired Sales Intelligence vendor GrowFlare.

Zylotech CTO Abhi Yadav will be Terminus’ Head of Platform Development.  Yadav is also a Guest Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management.

The deal is Terminus’ fifth acquisition, backing up Gartner’s SalesTech Mayhem thesis that a handful of companies are quickly grabbing market share through strategic acquisitions and high levels of internal investment that fill missing capabilities.

Terminus’ acquisitions have focused on expanding the core capabilities of the company, not taking out competitors.  The other acquisitions were

Terminus Acquisition History

While CDPs are generally deployed to create a single view of the customer, David Raab, Founder of CDP Institute, commented that the Terminus CDP “will tie together the data silos that would otherwise result” from the acquisitions.

“CDP is becoming more widely adopted in B2B, as companies recognize their marketing automation and CRM systems are not enough to provide true data unification and sharing,” said Raab.  “By acquiring Zylotech, Terminus positions itself – and its clients – to take full advantage of the capabilities that a CDP provides.”

While data usage and spending are rapidly increasing, few marketers trust their data.  A 2017 Forrester survey found that only 12% of B2B marketers have high confidence in their data accuracy, and 84% identified data management as a top-five weakness.

“The key to a successful CDP is trust,” blogged Zylotech Director of Revenue Marketing Alex Bistran in August.  “Sales, marketing, and customer experience teams need to trust the data stored in their CDP to drive decisions, whether it’s deciding which accounts require immediate attention or which campaign messaging is most likely to resonate with a particular customer. By constantly refreshing data from your own customer interactions and combining it with validated, third-party B2B data to accurately reflect your contacts and accounts, a CDP provides a clean stream of actionable data that can be operationalized to flow through your marketing, sales, and customer service channels.  And, importantly, that can lead to a healthier revenue stream too.”

“B2B CRM data is painfully inaccurate and incomplete, and manual efforts to clean, deduplicate, and activate are slow and expensive.  This leads to poor conversion rates, an incomplete view of buying committees, and misleading ROI,” stated the firm.

“Bad data in equals bad data out. Period. We’re entering a marketing revolution – data really is the new oil, and Terminus is sitting on a gold mine. Under Matt’s leadership, Terminus CDP is poised to change the game for our customers. This level of data accuracy is critical for B2B GTM teams looking for a unified view into their customers. I’ve never been more excited about the future of marketing.”

Terminus CEO Tim Kopp

The Terminus CDP addresses the issues of bad data with auditing, cleansing, enrichment, and data management capabilities “backed by the industry’s largest global network of decision-makers and Buying Committees.”  Furthermore, Terminus CDP “dramatically” improves data accuracy, campaign effectiveness, and “wasted sales cycles.”

Buying Committee discovery is a novel UVP for a CDP but fits well within a broader ABM Platform umbrella. 

“We are in the golden age of marketing.  The breadth of technologies helping us create great experiences has never been so impressive.  But, what are all those customer experiences predicated on?  Data,” blogged Kopp.  “With Terminus CDP, our customers will have their most important account and contact data continuously cleansed and enriched. The result: our customers will be able to put their trust in their data, unleashing their go-to-market teams to accurately engage buying committees every time.”

Continued Kopp, “We’re entering a marketing revolution.  A time when sales and marketing teams don’t have to worry about data and can dedicate their energy to create phenomenal experiences that turn into pipeline.  I have never been more excited about the future of marketing.”

“Since our early days as an MIT spinout, Zylotech has been focused on delivering the data and intelligence go-to-market teams can trust and take action on,” said Yadav.  “Upon meeting Terminus, it was obvious that we shared a common vision. We are proud to join Terminus and this incredible team to jointly improve the accuracy of B2B data.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Kopp described it as a “big deal” that is a “really, really important acquisition.”  The Indianapolis Business Journal said that Zylotech was its largest deal to date.  The transaction was financed with funds from a $90 February venture round.

Enterprise clients include Google, Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, Dell, and Rimini Street.

ZoomInfo Acquires Conversational Marketing Service Insent

ZoomInfo announced that it acquired Conversational Marketing firm Insent.AI this morning.  The new offering was immediately rebranded as ZoomInfo Chat.  Insent, ZoomInfo’s latest post-IPO tuck-in, follows acquisitions of Everstring (firmographics) and Clickagy (intent data) in late 2020.  In total, ZoomInfo (FKA DiscoverOrg) has acquired eight companies over the past four years.

CEO Henry Schuck focuses on acquiring complementary data assets that become significantly more valuable when combined with ZoomInfo’s data assets and are then cross-sold by its sales teams.

Last month Schuck told Yahoo! Finance:

“It [the size of the company] doesn’t really matter because the way that we evaluate M&A is, we look for opportunities where, number one, our data makes a big impact from a competitive differentiation perspective. And number two, which goes to the valuation piece, because we are seeing incredibly high valuations on M&A targets today.

But on that piece, we’re always looking to see, hey, if we buy this company and we integrate it into ZoomInfo, and we have all of our sellers selling that product or service and it’s integrated and it’s gotten better with the data asset that we have, how fast can we grow the business? It’s always much faster than that business is going to grow on its own.

And so, when we’re doing the analysis on what to buy and what to build, the buy equation has a lot to do with how much faster we can grow the business. And so while a valuation today might feel like a lot, when we look at what we’re going to be able to do with that asset over the next year and two years, we look for those assets to be accretive in the short term. And it really becomes a go-to-market exercise for us.”

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck, Yahoo! Finance interview, May 4, 2021

Conversational Marketing is a rapidly emerging segment that provides value across the revenue team.  Insent, which will be powered by ZoomInfo’s WebSights visitor identification and its global database, performs real-time routing of conversations to sales reps.  Low-scoring prospects are managed by the chatbot, with high-scoring visitors routed to the appropriate sales reps.  Insent, which competes against Intercom, Terminus, and Drift, calls itself a “human-first chatbot.”

“Marketers spend enormous amounts of time, money, and effort to drive traffic to their websites, but only convert less than two percent of visitors into leads – an incredible inefficiency for teams,” said Schuck.  “The acquisition of Insent will combine chat with ZoomInfo’s dynamic IP-to-company graph and insights.  Marketers will be able to instantly identify previously anonymous companies that are on their websites, route prospects to the right account owners, and arm them with ZoomInfo’s key intelligence about their buyers. As a result, they’ll initiate real-time conversations that can yield significant conversions.”

Insent also looks for website triggers such as page visits and scroll locations when launching the chatbot.

“As visitors engage in personalized conversations with a chatbot, the nature of the interaction can further inform and qualify visitors for a seamless transition to a live chat with a sales representative,” blogged Schuck.  This interactive intelligence will be combined with firmographics and other account and contact intelligence related to the prospect.  These insights then “trigger automated sales and marketing workflows, plays, and alerts to create informed, serendipitous, personalized engagement.”

The Insent chatbot supports inline meeting scheduling and additional information gathering for the rep.  ZoomInfo will also support automated follow-up workflows and conversations.

Chatbots have an advantage over traditional web forms.  Not only do they capture and enrich information, but they can engage with prospects when “your brand is top of mind” and selectively pass high-scoring visitors immediately to sales reps.  If the sales rep is not available, the chatbot can schedule a call and collect additional intelligence for the meeting.

“And that opportunity extends beyond the lifetime of that visit,” added Schuck.  “Leveraging the visit as a trigger event, ZoomInfo can expand the audience at an account by identifying other likely members of the buying committee and activating outreach to those professionals following a website visit by one or a number of their peers.”

Insent supports integrations with Salesforce, Marketo, HubSpot, Slack, MS Teams, and Zendesk (customer support).

Real-time integrations between platforms and the chat engine, combined with real-time reference data are key to this deal.  “Without tightly integrated, highly accurate data and timely insights, these systems are merely empty repositories that lack the intelligence to surface, prioritize, and trigger effective, personalized engagement at scale,” blogged Shuck.  “At ZoomInfo, we are actively executing against our vision to build a go-to-market platform that combines our best-in-class data and insights with a tightly integrated engagement layer that activates those insights as they surface. Our system facilitates real-time connection with buyers in their time of need, alerts sales teams to meaningful activity, and feeds engagement activity data back into the system for better future profiling and targeting.”

ZoomInfo Chat will be displayed alongside ZoomInfo WebSights Visitor Intelligence, company overviews, ZoomInfo Scoops, intent topics, technographics, buying committees, and insights.

“ZoomInfo is a trusted leader in go-to-market intelligence and orchestration that enterprises rely on to help them identify and close their ideal customers,” said Insent CEO Arjun Pillai.  “ZoomInfo and Insent will help shape the future of chat by allowing teams to have data-centric, intelligent conversations that can expedite sales cycles.”

Insent isn’t “just building a chatbot that generates leads, but a collaborative platform that is going to help marketers create, nurture qualified opportunities, and shorten sales cycles,” said the firm earlier this year.

The goal is to remove “digital walls” between buyers and sellers by replacing web forms and follow-ups “with instant live conversations on websites” that schedule meetings and deliver “personalized content recommendations based on engagement history.”

Insent describes itself as an “integration first platform,” with MAPs, CRMs, and ABM Platforms “to help sales teams talk to engaged prospects while they’re on the website.”

According to Insent Digital Marketer Aatharsha Jey, “integrations should be planned and carried out in a way that does not ask people to change their behaviors in order to adopt a new tool.”

“By guiding their buyers at the right time and proactively alerting your salespeople, Insent generates new revenue opportunities and accelerates existing ones,” said Pillai.

Initially, the pandemic slowed Instent’s growth as marketing teams reduced budgets and delayed decisions, but chatbots are high on the list of MarTech digital acquisition solutions.  Between May 2020 and January 2021, Insent revenue quadrupled.

Earlier this year, Insent was using 6Sense for visitor identification. “We go and task 6Sense through an API,” said Pillai in February. “We take that data, and we do further processing of that data.  All of this happens in microseconds.  Basically, the moment somebody lands on the website, boom, the API call comes back with the data based on that website, company visitor.”

Insent stress-tested various platforms before settling on MongoDB and AWS.  Pillai contends that the platform gives them a five-year or six-year window before rearchitecting.  The platform was designed with an account-based, versus lead-based, architecture that ties leads to accounts for account-based orchestration.

The new ZoomInfo Chat offering will be available to new and existing customers in Q3.  Deal terms were not disclosed. The acquisition was deemed not to have a material impact on the firm’s 2021 financials.

Pillai will be joining ZoomInfo as the SVP of Strategic Growth.


GZ Consulting offers a detailed analysis of ZoomInfo which includes a one-hour Q&A session. Contact Michael Levy for licensing.

Flash: Demandbase Acquires InsideView and DemandMatrix

ABX Platform vendor Demandbase acquired InsideView and DemandMatrix, providing it with an established and well-regarded Sales Intelligence platform, company and contact data, technographics, and data hygiene capabilities.  The acquisitions follow on last year’s acquisition of ABM Platform Engagio, which was unified with Demandbase as part of the Q4 Demandbase One platform release.

“It’s a feeling of expansion, born of learning so much from our customers, and born of the digital transformation that has happened in the last year,” said Demandbase CEO Gabe Rogol.  “This is an intentional step for us beyond being solely an ABM leader and into broader B2B go-to-market. That’s important because ABM is just a part of the go-to-market challenges that B2B companies face.”

The new services are packaged as an ABM Suite consisting of four clouds: ABX, Advertising, Sales Intelligence, and Data.  Customers will have the flexibility to order various elements of the suite, selecting the clouds and services that fit their needs.

“Our focus has been on building the most complete ABM solution (we call it ABX, because it’s not just marketing),” said Rogol, “and that was the impetus behind acquiring Engagio, putting a lot of the top of funnel and lower funnel stuff together.  That will still be important.”

While some may view this as Demandbase growing beyond ABX, it is an opportunity for them to complete the ABX vision.  I have long been critical of Demandbase’s limited framing of ABM within the marketing department.  While they acquired Spiderbook, a small sales intelligence vendor, a few years ago, it withered on the vine and is no longer mentioned by the firm.  InsideView provides them with an opportunity to realize ABX as a complete customer lifecycle solution.  There are still missing elements such as sales engagement tools and chatbots, but they are now working on a much wider canvas.

Demandbase is in a sprint to establish the ABX platform space against vendors such as Terminus, 6Sense, and Dun & Bradstreet.  It has been using the ABM three-letter acronym for a dozen years and was a lonely voice extolling ABM for half of that time, arguing for a shift from demand generation marketing to account-based strategies.  Earlier this year, it shifted from ABM to ABX (Account Based Experience), which places a greater emphasis on long-term relationships with customers and the broader revenue team (sales, marketing, customer success).

“We’re proud to join forces with these two great companies. Our vision is bold. We are transforming how B2B companies go to market, helping them deliver great experiences at every stage of the account journey. This requires great data — and we now have the premium B2B data and intelligence solutions to help companies identify, understand, and engage their customers and prospects. With this move, Demandbase moves from being ‘just’ a leader in account-based programs to being the definitive leader in B2B go-to-market…

These new offerings let us work even more flexibly with our customers. Customers can mix and match to focus on the areas most important for them, whether that’s data embedded to their existing systems, or advertising, or sales intelligence, or a full account-based transformation. We are moving aggressively to deliver on this mission, and no company will move faster than us to achieve it.”

Demandbase CEO Gabe Rogol

Acquiring InsideView and DemandMatrix strengthens its position in both marketing and sales.  Furthermore, InsideView’s sales triggers provide Demandbase customers with a rich set of talking points for account managers and customer success teams, letting them know if there are executive changes, M&A events, new partnerships, etc.

Demandbase One added the Sales Intelligence and Data Clouds with this week’s acquisitions.

Demandbase, which offers an ABX Cloud and an Advertising Cloud, now supports a Data Cloud and Sales Intelligence Cloud.  The Sales Intelligence Cloud is based upon InsideView and supports:

  • Prospect Finder – A traditional list-building feature for company and contact data.  Along with firmographic and biographic data, the InsideView prospect finder includes connection variables (Who Know Who “six degrees”), sales triggers (17 + custom variables), data availability (e.g., LinkedIn Connections, Email), and suppression lists.
  • Browser Extension – A Chrome extension for quick lookup and prospecting.  The extension displays InsideView company and contact profiles from LinkedIn, company websites, and CRMs.  Records may be sent to the CRM or Sales Engagement Platforms.
  • News and Social Insights – InsideView publishes daily email alerts based upon their sales triggers.  As these are event-based, most company noise (e.g., stock price fluctuations, scores for teams playing at branded stadia) is removed and duplicates suppressed.  They also support inline social media viewing for Facebook, Twitter, and Company Blogs.  Inline viewing helps account managers and customer success teams stay abreast of key accounts.  It also assists marketing and CI professionals in monitoring key partners and competitors.
  • Corporate Hierarchies – Family trees assist with lead-to-account mapping, selling deeper into an organization, and ensuring that leads are accurately scored and routed.

The Data Cloud consists of Demandbase, InsideView, and DemandMatrix assets.  InsideView contributes close to 100 million global contacts and 17 million companies.  DemandMatrix supports technographics (current tech stack, future technology needs, technology-based skill set trends, cloud consumption revenue, and IT Spend). 

Other Data Cloud services include Demandbase Account Identification, InsideView Apex (ICP Discovery and Expansion), InsideView Data Integrity hygiene tools, and the InsideView API.

“For the last 15 years, we’ve been focused on empowering our customers to experience rapid revenue growth through the power of data.  InsideView’s leadership in sales intelligence made it clear to us years ago that stronger ties between sales and marketing lead to more revenue—and data is the key. By joining forces with Demandbase, we’re combining our legacy and leadership in sales, and the industry’s freshest, most reliable data, with leading marketing technology. Our customers will be able to do more with data across more B2B revenue channels from sales, to advertising, to account-based campaigns. We’re taking the convergence of data and workflow to the next level.”

InsideView CEO Umberto Milletti

InsideView was highly rated in The Forrester Wave B2B Marketing Data Providers Q2 2021 report, scoring a five (highest score) across 14 of Forrester’s 24 evaluation criteria.  Among the categories in which they excelled were data management, data coverage, and customer support.

Rogol emphasized the value of technographics for enterprise technology companies, saying that “for technology companies, the number one feature in a data science model is what technologies your prospect owns.”

“B2B data is complex, and customers consistently ask us for help with their data stack,” said DemandMatrix CEO Meetul Shah. “We started with further innovating technographic data to give customers valuable insights into their prospects and what other technologies they might buy. By now being part of the Demandbase Data Cloud, we’ll be able to provide customers access throughout the B2B data stack to help them realize their revenue goals.”

Both Milletti and Shah will continue running their respective businesses and join the Demandbase executive team as general managers.  The two subsidiaries will operate separately, but the firm will consolidate the data across the offerings.

Acquisition prices for the two firms were not disclosed.  The InsideView service lists its revenue at $30.5 million and 275 employees, which has remained stable over the past few years.  DemandMatrix is listed at $3.0 million in revenue with 90 employees.

InsideView’s self-profile (May 4, 2021)

“At Demandbase, our vision is bold. We are transforming how B2B companies go to market, helping them deliver great experiences at every stage of the account journey.  This requires great data,” said Demandbase.  “We now have the premium B2B data and intelligence solutions to help companies identify, understand, and engage their customers and prospects. With this move, Demandbase goes from being ‘just’ a leader in account-based programs to being the definitive leader in B2B go-to-market.”

InsideView and DemandMatrix customers benefit from the more extensive go-to-market capabilities of their parent.  The DemandMatrix suite helps customers:

  • Design and orchestrate their entire buyer’s journey across marketing and sales
  • Personalize their website experience, track account-level engagement, and attribute revenue
  • Deliver account-based display, native, and social media advertising that is brand safe for B2B
  • Target and segment their market

Rogol admitted that the integration work would not be easy.  “Obviously, we still have a lot of the execution work ahead. One thing to point out is that these are different types of acquisitions than Engagio. With Engagio, the goal was to get to the most comprehensive ABM platform. These are adjacent expansions, so they’re going to operate as standalone businesses pretty much.”

Barb Mosher Zinck of Diginomica was bullish on the transactions, calling it a “smart move” to consolidate the data from three companies under a single platform.  “It’s essentially a Customer Data Platform (CDP) without the CDP name (and some CDP capabilities), providing all the critical information sales and marketing need to find the right accounts and contacts within those accounts. The intelligence DemandMatrix brings on technology is key, as is the ability from InsideView to see when things are changing in a company.”

“I also like that Demandbase has broadened its offering from only account-based marketing to sales intelligence because the two groups are tightly aligned,” continued Mosher Zinck.  “These two solutions can operate separately but bringing them together under the same umbrella with access to the same data is key to ensuring a company-wide focus on customer experience.”


The following Market Flash published on May 4th to my newsletter subscribers. I also offer a detailed InsideView product review for purchase ($349).