Nektar.AI Exits Stealth Mode

Nektar.AI supports automated activity capture and CRM sync across the full customer lifecycle.

After two years in stealth mode, Revenue Operations solution provider Nektar.AI was unveiled earlier this month.  Nektar looks to solve the “CRM data leakage” problem whereby critical lead, contact, and opportunity data is omitted or decays.  For example, Nektar recognizes meeting attendees missing from the CRM and automatically creates contact records that include email, direct dial phone, title, and buying committee role.  Out-of-date or missing data negatively impacts both the sales process and operational functions such as analytics, automated recommendations, and pipeline forecasting.

Nektar offers a no-code platform that applies natural-language processing against email, calendar, chat, and social touchpoints, capturing revenue activity data across the full customer lifecycle and syncing it with the CRM.  Automated activity capture improves rep productivity, allowing sales professionals to focus on selling instead of data entry and updating.

“Sales teams depend on their CRM data to gain insights into team productivity, pipeline insights, and revenue forecasting.  Despite a CRM being an important system of record for modern go-to-market teams, it still grapples with the problem of poor user adoption and missing data.  As per estimates, 40-50% of sales activity data remains missing from a CRM, while 27% of the data that’s available in a CRM decays every month.  This leads to major data and productivity leakage,” stated the firm.

Furthermore, deals are becoming increasingly complex, with larger buying committees and sales teams communicating across an expanding array of sales channels.  While most of these conversations are now digital, they take place across disparate platforms and channels, resulting in data fragmentation.  Nektar’s mission is to collect this fragmented intelligence and feed it into the CRM, making it available to the revenue team without requiring sales resources to key this intelligence.

“There are a lot of reporting and analytics solutions out there.  Other solutions have been investing primarily in the downstream problem with respect to visibility and analytics, an important problem to solve.  But the core problem actually starts upstream, which is where activities are taking place and where data is being generated.  A lot of that data doesn’t make its way into CRM, which actually results in downstream problems.  If there’s poor data in, you will have poor insights available,” explained CEO Abhijeet Vijayvergiya to GZ Consulting.

“We found our product-market fit when we found that more than 50% of critical revenue activity data is not going into CRM,” continued Vijayvergiya.  “This data leak results in productivity leaks, and that results in revenue leaks.”

Furthermore, as firms make staffing cuts, “they’re trying to do more with less” and losing implicit knowledge that never made its way into the CRM.  Nektar allows companies to recover much of this lost activity and contact intelligence, boosting a firm’s ability to manage revenue operations during a recession.

“There are tools like Gong and Clari and some other forecasting solutions which provide good insights,” expanded Vijayvergiya on Nektar’s value proposition.  But these systems are not resolving the data leakage problem. 

Nektar claims 95% accuracy in its data capture and syncing processes.  The service can go live in ninety minutes and begins providing time to value in three days as it gathers both historical data missing from the CRM and populates it with ongoing activity capture. 

Nektar operates in the background, collecting and syncing data.  Thus, there are no training sessions or additional UIs to learn.  Sales reps do not need to toggle to other platforms, and their data entry work is significantly reduced.

“Nektar plugs the CRM data leakage without a user lifting their finger.  We basically eliminate the need for user adoption and give all the time back to salespeople to go and sell while relieving their administrative burden,” said Vijayvergiya.

While there have been third-party solutions to populate and enrich account and contact data records for over a decade (e.g., Dun & Bradstreet, ZoomInfo), these vendors were blind to the demand unit unless a sales rep entered all members.  Nektar is complementary to third-party DaaS providers, Revenue Intelligence vendors (e.g., Clari, Revenue Grid), Conversational Sales (e.g., Gong, Chorus), and business intelligence vendors (e.g., Tableau).

“We are aware that some of these solutions have their own activity capture system, but most of their activity capture solutions work in silos for certain sets of users who adopt their solution,” continued Vijayvergiya.  “Users are not adopting the solution, or data loss happens anyway.   A solution which we replace, more often than not, is Salesforce Einstein Activity Capture.”

Nektar supports email and domain exclusion lists to prevent mining confidential information (e.g., legal, investor relations, partner development).

Nektar is generally available as a native Salesforce solution, with HubSpot and Microsoft Dynamics on the roadmap.  In addition, all of its system integrations are native, providing higher quality and performance.

Nektar.AI closed a $6 million seed round last summer, raising its total funding to $8.1 million.  The round was led by B Capital Group, with Nexus Venture Partners, 3One4 Capital, and angel investors also joining.

Nektar has not disclosed pricing, but it is per user per month with SaaS-based pricing billed quarterly or annually.

Nektar is a fully remote company with 32 employees across seven countries with plans to hit fifty employees by the end of this year.  Although emerging from stealth, it already supports over 1,500 users. 

Nektar’s goal through year-end is to focus on its go-to-market strategy and North American hiring.

Nektar activity tracking at the account level

Data capture as an AI tool is becoming increasingly important. It probably isn’t a standalone offering but an underlying capability for populating the CRM with harvested digital intelligence, monitoring buyer engagement, and building out the buying committee. As such, it is core to both CRM data enrichment and revenue intelligence.

I have seen a series of data capture announcements from vendors of all sizes: big (Microsoft Viva Sales), medium (People.AI, Introhive), and small (e.g., Nektar, Winn.AI). I will be covering People.AI and Winn.AI later this week.

Vainu for HubSpot

Vainu for HubSpot Data Mapping rules.

Yesterday, I posted about Vainu’s new Global Database. The firm also announced its Vainu for HubSpot connector for matching and enriching company data against its global reference database.

“Most sales and marketing teams want to be data-driven.  They want to run ABM campaigns, apply modern lead scoring models, and automate many parts of the sales process.  SalesOps and Marketing Ops professionals are there to facilitate all that, but there’s one common challenge they’re facing: CRM data is messy and outdated,” observed Vainu co-founder Mikko Honkanen.  “With that struggle in mind, we thought it would be a good time to launch a new HubSpot connector at the same time that we’re launching Vainu Global…so that it’s easy for companies using HubSpot to get their CRM data cleaned, updated, and enriched.”

As companies are being matched against Vainu’s new global database, not registered Nordic filings, the match field is URLs, not business IDs or VATs.  With forms, contacts are matched against email domains.  If a company is not already in HubSpot, new Accounts are created, and the Contacts are associated with the new record.

“This means it works very well with HubSpot CRM, because domain is often the company property that a business will have for almost all of the company records they have in their CRM, which means that it’ll be easier to match the companies in HubSpot to our database,” contended Honkanen.

During beta testing, match rates were as high as 99%.  For non-matched records, the firm offers on-demand matching against missing domains.  If they are valid domains, Vainu adds profiles to its company directory.

Along with standard firmographics, account enrichment includes Vainu’s Custom Industry segments, global web traffic ranking, and Vainu segments (e.g., website keywords or phrases).  Profiles generally have four to eight industry labels, helping with targeting.

Other fields include technographics and domain redirect information.  Redirects are often implemented after acquisitions or rebrands and are useful for assigning contacts.

Vainu for HubSpot Send to CRM

Vainu offers a field mapper for assigning Vainu data to HubSpot and setting update rules.  For example, admins can set field update logic to always update, update if null, or never update.  Vainu custom fields that are not in HubSpot are automatically created.  Along with companies, admins can map contacts, tasks, notes, and deals. 

Thus, admins can build a campaign and upload it to HubSpot with task assignments.  The inclusion of tasks and notes helps specify campaign details, such as recommended collateral and case studies, with the Vainu Custom Industry and Technology Intelligence assisting with messaging.

If companies do not exist in HubSpot, Account records are created.  If they exist, then the existing records are enriched. 

By default, HubSpot does not overwrite current account owners.

Updates can be performed on a scheduled basis or executed as a one-time batch operation. 

Vainu intelligence with tasks and notes displayed in HubSpot.

Matchbook AI Funding

Matchbook AI, which offers External Data and Data Hygiene solutions to enterprise clients, has announced a $3 million seed extension.  It previously received $1.7 million in seed and friends and family funding.

Matchbook was founded in 2018 but operated as a garage project for a couple of years before being incorporated.  CEO Rushabh Mehta had the idea for the Matchbook Data Hub while an industry evangelist and initially built the solution with Dun & Bradstreet data.  The Data Hub provides a configurable, hierarchical matching service that matches and enriches records with a single API call.  Both batch and real-time matching are supported, with cascading and waterfall matching processes.  In addition, a rules engine allows customers to construct bespoke data cleansing and filtering rules specific to various business units and use cases.  The Data Hub will be powered by Snowflake.

The system can use other identifiers such as domains or emails if the account cannot be matched by name and address.  In addition, the system manages deduplication and prevents creating duplicate records when onboarding accounts. The solution can also support more complex matching scenarios to allow for verification checks and multi-attribute matching.

“I can immediately see if I already have an existing relationship with that account,” Mehta explained to GZ Consulting.  “Just because I keyed in the name incorrectly or a previous account had a different address for that same company, I should still be able to identify and say, ‘Hey, no, it’s the same company to the same account.’”

The Data Hub also manages information for enterprise clients with multiple CRMs, helping “provide that visibility across CRMs, across ERPs, or CRM and ERP.”  Thus, Matchbook can identify whether “there is already an existing relationship within the organization with that particular entity” through third-party identification.  Furthermore, matching identifies parent-sub relationships tied together by D-U-N-S numbers.

According to Mehta, customers want controlled updates to their CRM or ERP, not real-time updates.  They also want to control which fields are updated with the data hub keeping “everything mastered in one place” with the intelligence accessible to the organization.

Matchbook AI’s data partners and supported platforms

Along with Dun & Bradstreet’s data sets (e.g., companies, contacts, hierarchies, beneficial ownership, D-U-N-S identifiers, technographics, competitors, company news, and credit and supplier risk profiles), Matchbook AI provides third-party reference data from ZoomInfo, Demandbase, Moody’s, Experian, Melissa, and Google.  The service also includes sanctions and terrorist watchlist data for compliance use cases.

The Data Hub operates as a centralized external data repository for maintaining data quality and standardizing data across platforms, including Salesforce, Snowflake, SAP, Informatica, Microsoft, Oracle, Certa, and Reltio.  The Data Hub supports a broad set of processes and departments, with sales, marketing, finance, IT, logistics, compliance, legal, and supplier management use cases. It also plays a critical role in MDM use cases through integrations with Reltio and others.

Matchbook claims implementations between two days and two months, significantly faster than its competitors.  Furthermore, as a DaaS solution, it is 90% less expensive than in-house solutions.  It also claims a 75% savings on expenses related to maintaining a data stewardship team due to “improved data quality and automated management.”

VP of Sales & Marketing Wesley Billingslea described a recent dinner with a Fortune 500 CIO who described Matchbook AI as “quite strategic and pervasive because we go across departments,” whereas “most MDM projects sit in the IT organization.”  This approach “empowers” teams across the organization with superior data and a plug-and-play solution.

Matchbook focuses on enterprise clients, with 59% of its customers in the Fortune 500.  It takes a land-and-expand approach that proves itself in one department or on one platform and then extends to others.  Contracts are usually written for a single year and then converted to multi-year contracts a year later.  The strategy has resulted in a 118% net retention rate and a projected ARR increase of 220% this year.

“As we gear up our sales and marketing efforts, we are confident that we will soon achieve $3.5 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) with Current ARR of $1.85 million,” said Mehta.  “Data should be trusted, enriched, and always ready.  I feel very confident in our approach as we take these next steps and help companies understand their data DNA in this age of intelligent business.”

Matchbook claims an impressive LTV/CAC ratio greater than 12, an important indicator of stickiness, value, and an efficient go-to-market approach.

Mehta noted that it is just entering a large market with a rapidly expanding TAM.  According to MarketsandMarkets, data cleansing and global master data management were an $11.3 billion market in 2020, growing to $27.9 billion by 2025 (19.8% CAGR).

“Our value proposition to an MDM implementation can mean the difference between success and failure,” said Mehta.

Pricing is based on a records-under-management model, providing a predictable budget line to companies.  Implementations range from 50,000 to 100 million records. Matchbook has grown to 51 employees in the Americas and Asia.  The bulk of its R&D is conducted in Asia.

Lusha Salesforce Data Exchange

Lusha Enrichment Editor

Contacts database Lusha announced the general availability of its Salesforce Data Enrichment (SFDE) service.  The new service provides on-demand, periodic, or continuous data enrichment, ensuring that company and contact data remain accurate. 

An Enrichment Editor helps operations managers understand how many records need enrichment and the number of leads, contacts, and accounts recently added to Salesforce and available for enrichment.  The Salesforce admin can run an initial enrichment against the full database or target a subset of records for enrichment, with the Enrichment Editor supporting custom audiences for updates based upon multiple Salesforce field criteria.

The Salesforce admin performs the initial field mapping during the integration setup.  Custom fields are supported, and the admin can choose whether to override existing values during enrichment.  Lusha recommends that admins create special fields, such as Lusha Email, to avoid overwriting current field values.

SFDE is an Enterprise add-on and is subject to an access fee.  Analyst Relations Manager Alina Sharon-Green warned GZ Consulting that “extensive usage may require the purchase of additional data credits.”  As a launch promotion, enterprise customers will receive SFDE for free through the end of the year.

Lusha already supports Send to Salesforce functionality but does not provide I-frame support or “stare and compare” updates within AppExchange records.

“Companies spend huge amounts of resources building CRMs of both current and prospective leads but suffer from the speed the data becomes outdated and irrelevant,” said CEO Yoni Tserruya. “B2B sales organizations rely on their CRM to identify the right prospects – so when this data is incomplete or inaccurate, their time is wasted, and opportunities are lost.  With our new SFDE solution, sales teams are given direct access to Lusha’s extensive database of accurate contact and company information to automatically enrich their existing data and gain new insights on their prospects to scale business results.”

Lusha has grown its database to 100 global million contacts, which includes 60 million emails and 50 million direct-dial phones.  All contact records are processed through a seven-step verification process.  Lusha also profiles 15 million global companies. Lusha continued its rapid pace of growth, doubling its paid user base in H1, “with significant growth in Enterprise users,” stated Sharon-Green.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Q2 2022 Release

The new Sales Navigator search UI dynamically updates the results list as soon as a filter is added or removed.

LinkedIn began rolling out its Q2 Sales Navigator release to users earlier this month.  As with previous releases, admins receive the release first, with general users following a few weeks later.  New features include expanded data validation, a new SNAP integration with conversation intelligence leader Gong, and the continued rollout of Sales Navigator’s new Search and Lead Page experiences.

Companies have responded to the pandemic and Great Reshuffle by increasing channel noise, hoping to break through the din, but this strategy is flawed.  Top-performing reps who heavily exceed their quota are “spending less time selling in the traditional sense — smiling-and-dialing and sending out mass outreach,” explained LinkedIn VP of Global Sales Solutions Alyssa Merwin Henderson.  They aren’t increasing the volume but carefully targeting their prospecting and messaging, conducting buyer research, and focusing on skill development.

“In today’s virtual world, where there’s more noise than ever, the recipe for winning is clear – fewer things done better,” concluded Henderson.

LinkedIn Head of Product and Solutions Marketing Nicole Desjardins highlighted three problems facing sales reps that LinkedIn is working to address:

  1. More virtual selling than ever, leading to more virtual noise than ever, with buyers being overwhelmed by irrelevant and generic outreach.
  2. Job switching continues to be higher than normal, making a mess of CRM data and putting deals at risk.
  3. A plethora of new sales tools have hit the market, many of which don’t integrate with each other, making it more confusing to choose the right tech stack.

Desjardins argued that the solution to these problems comes from real-time data fed into the CRM and “meaningful sales intelligence that helps you connect with and nurture the right buyers at the right time.”

The Great Reshuffle continues to create a “mess” of CRM data, resulting in inaccurate forecasts and irrelevant messaging.  According to LinkedIn’s upcoming “State of Sales” report, 41% of sales reps said their biggest problem was inaccurate, out-of-date CRM data.  To help address this issue, Sales Navigator now flags out-of-date contact and lead records and allows reps to update the CRM from Navigator to address this problem.

Sales Navigator Data Validation displays Update CRM badges and syncs updates to Leads and Contacts.

Data Validation displays an Update CRM badge on Sales Navigator member pages who have recently changed jobs, titles, or locations.  After clicking on the badge, reps are shown the new title, account, location, contact owner, and most recent opportunity.  Updates are made to matched Lead and Contact records, with the user controlling which fields are to be updated.  Reps are also shown which open opportunities are linked to the executive, allowing them to quickly remove departed execs from live opportunities.

“Clearly, this will save you time.  Instead of having to toggle back and forth between your CRM and Sales Navigator, you can do it all in our platform,” blogged Product Marketing Manager Austin Gray.  “More importantly, because updating your CRM is now easier to do, you’ll have more accurate data within it.  LinkedIn’s real-time first-party data means that you can have confidence that your CRM will have access to the most accurate and up-to-date information available.”

Data Validation is available for Sales Navigator Advanced Plus and supports record updates in Salesforce and MS Dynamics 365.  The functionality was released to customers with fewer than 15 seats this week and will be rolled out to large customers on June 22.

The New Search and Lead Page Experiences were rolled out to accounts with fewer than fifty seats last quarter.  The largest accounts will receive the updates this quarter.

The search feature has been streamlined to improve the time to “successful results.”  In addition, the search includes a “larger collapsible, intuitive grouped view of filters” that improves search filter discovery.  New and updated filters include TeamLink Connections of, Saved Leads, Saved Accounts, Previously Viewed, Current Company, Past Company, and Company Headquarter.

The search interface updates dynamically, providing results as each filter is added or removed.

The updated Sales Navigator Leads (Contact) Page

The new Lead Page (contacts) is designed for rapid lead qualification with “the most important info front and center,” including the most recent touchpoint, current role, and description.  Other features include a sticky action bar, conversation starters, and introduction paths.

The Conversation Starter section displays recent posts for comments and commonalities.

The Get Introduced section has been redesigned and expanded.

The TeamLink section is now organized by seniority level so that reps can find “their best path in.”  In addition, the section supports a pre-populated InMail to save reps time writing messages.

Sales Navigator is also adding a new Lead Panel for researching contacts in a prospecting list without having to open multiple windows.

“Prospecting in Sales Navigator often means using our powerful search to find your target buyer,” wrote Desjardins.”  Once you’ve found that list of potential buyers, we’re betting you then open a tab for each individual, which can mean a lot of open tabs and a lot of switching back and forth.  The new Lead Panel streamlines this process and keeps you on the same page the entire time.”

The new Lead Panel streamlines qualification and messaging from lead (contact) prospect lists.

The Lead Panel displays job title, job description, and conversation starters to assist with quick qualification and messaging.

The Lead Panel will be rolling out to accounts with fewer than fifty seats this quarter and enterprise accounts next quarter.


LinkedIn also added a Gong SNAP integration for viewing LinkedIn intelligence within Gong’s conversational intelligence platform.

Flash: Echobot & Leadfeeder Acquired & Merged

Growth equity firm Great Hill Partners invested €180 million in Echobot and Leadfeeder, merging the firms into a Sales Intelligence and Go-to-market platform.  Both firms are based in Europe (Germany and Finland) and will benefit from the roadmap set out by North American RevTech firms.

The merged firm will be based in Karlsruhe, Germany, with Echobot CEO Bastian Karweg continuing as CEO.  Leadfeeder CEO Pekka Koskinen will become the CPO.  The combined company has a headcount of 250 across six offices in Europe and the US.  The new firm’s Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) exceeds €20 million. 

Leadfeeder serves around 7,000 customers and Echobot 1,500.

Echobot’s European data coverage

Echobot offers a Sales Intelligence and B2B DaaS platform for the D-A-CH region, UK, and France.  Late last year, it added a broader European data pack.  It supports a database of 20 million European companies and over 60 million GDPR-compliant contacts.  Company and contact data is derived from both registered filings and open web sources and includes directors, shareholders, and financials. 

Echobot takes a “True Compliance” approach which gathers data only from publicly accessible sources.  Furthermore, it provides verification links to the source URLs that allow reps to answer the question, “where did my data come from?”  All data is hosted in Germany.

Echobot’s products include TARGET (prospecting), CONNECT (Sales Intelligence), DATACARE (B2B DaaS), and an API.  In addition, Echobot offers CRM integrations with HubSpot, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and SugarCRM.

“It is our goal to be the leading sales intelligence and go-to-market platform to our core European and North American markets,” said Karweg.  “Thanks to Great Hill, we have now assembled the best data, AI / ML, talent, and operating experience to achieve just that.  We are increasingly seeing organizations looking to take advantage of their own data and third-party data, and then to augment this intelligence with better, more personalized outreach.  The combination of Echobot and Leadfeeder is uniquely positioned to capitalize on a massive market opportunity at the early stages of adoption.”

Leadfeeder IP-to-Account Visitor Intelligence

Leadfeeder offers website visitor intelligence that maps IP addresses to company intelligence.  During the pandemic, it worked to identify remote workers and map them to their employers, helping refine which companies are in-market.  It also supports connectors for Google Analytics, chatbots, audience retargeting, major CRMs, Zapier, and Slack.

“Integrating Leadfeeder’s web visitor identification system with Echobot’s data and prospecting solutions creates a unique platform upon which we can both enable organizations to identify and engage high-intent prospects as well as introduce incremental applications that enhance B2B sales and marketing operations,” said Koskinen.

Karweg envisions an ABM workflow that begins with an ICP analysis that identifies net-new accounts.  The ICP is then mapped against Leadfeeder’s visitor intelligence and Echobot’s firmographics and event triggers to identify high-value, in-market accounts for programmatic marketing.  While programmatic campaigns are not yet supported, they are in development.

Great Hill Partners has also committed an additional €50 million toward future acquisitions.  In an interview with GZ Consulting, Echobot CEO Bastian Karweg indicated that the €50M in dry powder would be used towards acquiring talent, RevTech functionality, or expanded content.

The equity acquisition is a combination of primary and secondary funding, with Great Hill Partners buying out many of the original investors.  It named Growth Partner Derek Schoettle Chairman of the Board and placed Great Hill Partners Managing Director Chris Gaffney and Vice President Greg Stewart on the board of the merged organization.

Schoettle is also on the board of ABX Platform Terminus, another Great Hill investment.  He was the CEO of ZoomInfo when DiscoverOrg acquired it in 2019 (DiscoverOrg subsequently assumed the name ZoomInfo), so he and the new board members offer deep Go-to-Market domain expertise.

“Go-to-market is one of the fastest-growing areas of B2B software.  Sales and marketing organizations need timely, accurate information and intelligent systems to identify and engage their prospects in an increasingly personalized, automated fashion.  By bringing together Echobot and Leadfeeder, we can create the next-generation sales intelligence and go-to-market platform,” stated Derek Schoettle.

The transaction is a merger of equals bringing together two firms of roughly the same revenue and employee base.  Both firms have over €10M in ARR and are growing rapidly.  Echobot grew 70% last year, while Leadfeeder had a 50% growth figure.  Echobot has long been profitable, and Leadfeeder is nearing profitability. 

The firms will initially run as independent brands as they merge their operations and platforms.  The deal closed a few weeks ago but was announced this morning.  Thus, they have already begun combining finance and HR.  The two brands will be maintained in the near term with rebranding under consideration for 2023 as Echobot is also the name of a Mirai malware variant.

Valuation figures were not disclosed, but the final price was determined before the recent valuation declines and did not change.  The firms were both being advised by GP Bullhound, which suggested that packaging the two firms together would result in a more effective growth equity round.  Furthermore, the two companies offered features on each other’s roadmap so were logical complements.

Europe has been tracking behind the US in the Sales Intelligence space, with several national champions now looking to offer European datasets and local UIs.  European sales intelligence and B2B DaaS solutions must meet higher data compliance and privacy standards, incorporate registered data from national registers, support multiple currencies, and many languages.

Echobot covers the D-A-CH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland), the UK, and France, with a general European data package added late last year.  A Nordic data package has been accelerated due to the merger, which would increase its competitiveness against Dun & Bradstreet and Vainu.

“One of the most requested developments for 2021 was to access data from the entire European market.  That was not only requested from German customers with a strong export to European countries, but also from new, international users that want to expand into Europe,” explained Karweg last November when Echobot added coverage of over twenty European countries.

“Europe is not one country but many, and there are differences between them, whether it’s to do with culture or data compliance,” remarked Schoettle.  “Having a platform that is unique and linguistic-specific, and serving its markets with high-quality data, is a differentiator.”

“It’s a dream match,” argued Koskinen.  While previously the firm purchased contact data from multiple sources, “it has been difficult to get sufficiently up-to-date and accurate data.”  With the merger, Leadfeeder will offer better data quality and “have all the expertise in-house” to expand its coverage.

Along with higher quality data, Leedfeeder will benefit from a broader set of firmographics, financials, and sales triggers for data enrichment and lead scoring.  Leadfeeder will also be able to cross-sell Echobot’s sales intelligence, prospecting, and data enrichment services to its 7,000 customers.

“We want to be the biggest in Europe,” stated Koskinen.  “It’s going to take a few years, but I think we’re succeeding…We have long had customers all over the world.  After the merger, we will be able to offer something that no one else can.”

Echobot offers German and English-language Sales Triggers.

D&B Connect for Salesforce

Dun & Bradstreet announced its spring releases and enhancements at Forrester’s B2B Data conference in Austin.  Dun & Bradstreet launched D&B Connect for Salesforce, its new data management service, and expanded D&B Rev.Up ABX functionality.

“With more accurate, actionable CRM data, businesses can make more confident decisions, identify more cross-sell and upsell opportunities, and target with greater precision,” blogged North American Sales & Marketing GM Stacy Greiner.  “That’s the foundation for strong account-based strategies and digitalization.  It’s the foundation for a stronger business, period.”

D&B Connect for Salesforce is the next generation of Salesforce hygiene products, superseding D&B Optimizer for Salesforce.  Users have broader control over matching logic.  They can employ easy matching based on Dun & Bradstreet Confidence Codes or customize the match logic by leveraging Confidence Codes alongside country/region selects and match quality. 

The operations manager can set the importance of individual match grades by field (e.g., street number, name, etc.).  Admins can also set match inclusion criteria, defining which fields should be excluded from matching (e.g., Non-Headquarter locations, Out-of-Business locations, Non-Marketable locations, or Undeliverable/Unreachable locations).

Connect for Salesforce has dramatically expanded the data sets available for enrichment, providing access to over 1,600 data elements based upon subscribed data blocks. Admins also have control over refresh frequency and rematch rules.  Data may be refreshed every 14 days with the option of rematching unmatched records.  Transactional matching is also supported, allowing real-time match and append for newly created records.

D&B Connect match logic administration

Other features include data health reports, field-level mapping, out-of-business flags, and duplicate management.  In addition, Dun & Bradstreet offers 37 million subsidiary and branch linkages, ensuring proper territory management and lead assignment.

“What is preventing our marketing campaigns and sales plays from firing on all cylinders? asked Dun & Bradstreet Greiner.  “Quite simply, bad data that is outdated, incorrect, duplicate, improperly formatted, or just outright missing.  Let’s face it — we’re all to blame.  We’re just not good about keeping our data up to date and refreshed.  We don’t even do a good job entering the right data in the first place.  This may be due in part to subjectivity, in part to laziness, and in part because there’s just not enough time in our day to be thorough enough.”

D&B Connect for Salesforce starts at $5,000 per company per year.

Cognism $87.5M Series C

London-based Sales Intelligence vendor Cognism closed on an $87.5 million (£64m) Series C.  The round was led by Viking Global Investors and Blue Cloud Ventures, with follow-on investors AXA Venture Partners, Swisscom Ventures, and Volution.

Total funding is just shy of $130 million.

The funds will be deployed for European expansion and strengthening Cognism’s position in the United States.  Growth will be a “combination of organic growth and acquisitions.”

“The funding will help us empower many more businesses with international sales intelligence over the coming years, setting a new standard in data quality and compliance,” explained CEO James Isilay.  “It will accelerate our growth and global expansion plans as the leading provider of intelligent B2B sales data.”

“We will be organically expanding in the United States this year and have just hired new sales leadership (Mark Sparaco) to accelerate our growth,” Isilay told GZ Consulting.  “Europe remains our primary focus, but we see significant differentiation to other providers in our US and International data that we see significant growth opportunities.”

The firm will remain focused on improving its global data coverage and Sales Intelligence capabilities in 2022.  Roadmap features include marketing enhancements and localization in non-English speaking countries.

Cognism is coming off another strong year, with ARR growth hitting 100%.  They have over 1,000 customers, located in over forty countries.

Isilay is targeting another year of 100%+ growth and stated that Cognism is off to a good start in January with a “record revenue month.”

2021 data improvements include Diamond Data and the addition of Bombora’s intent data set as a premium offering.  Diamond data provides “the most accurate, GDPR & CCPA compliant phone-verified contacts for business development teams internationally, setting a new standard in data quality,” boasted the firm.

The Diamonds-on-Demand request feature supports on-demand phone verification from both the web application and the Cognism Chrome extension.  Users click on a Diamond Verify button to initiate the verification process, which is completed within 48 hours.  In addition, users can track the status on the platform.

“No other software company offers a truly global sales intelligence platform like Cognism. “By pairing our premium quality contact data with advanced contextual data points like technographics and buyer intent signals, we help modern revenue teams connect with confidence and exceed targets. We enable them to build a meaningful connection with their next best customer in the most predictable, efficient, and cost-effective way.”

Cognism CEO James Isilay

Cognism has grown to over 250 employees in seven countries: the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, South Africa, Croatia, Macedonia, and Germany.

Cognism did not state its market valuation.

Cognism also announced that it is SOC II Type 2 compliant.  The designation confirms that Cognism meets AICPA’s Trust Services Criteria for Security, Availability, Confidentiality, Processing Integrity, and Privacy with regards to data.

“We live and breathe security and compliance at Cognism as we handle large amounts of company data that help our customers reach new target audiences,” blogged Cognism CTO Stjepan Buljat. “Most companies, when they start their SOC 2 compliance journey, choose to select type 1 qualification, whereas we’ve selected the more complex type 2 route – often described as the difference between a balance sheet audit and a full audit of financial operations.  Type 2 looks at the information security controls we have in action and confirms that we’re organised to handle the data privacy concerns of the largest companies on the planet.”

Cognism Funding History (Source: Owler)

Echobot European Expansion

German Sales Intelligence vendor Echobot closed another successful year of product enhancements and revenue growth.  Echobot offers deep sales intelligence and data hygiene services for Germany, Austria, Switzerland (D-A-CH), and the UK.

In late 2020, Echobot launched its UK database and English language UI, providing a secondary market beyond the DACH region.  The firm grew MRR over 70% this year and hit 1,500 clients.  New business rose 80%, and the firm hired its 100th employee (up 44% this year).  Echobot continues to be EBITDA and Cash Flow positive.  Echobot is self-financed, not having taken any funding since 2013.

The firm also moved into a larger headquarters office in Karlsruhe with 16,000 square feet.

Along with fit-and-finish work on their UK services, the firm rolled out version 2.0 of their TARGET prospecting database.  TARGET offers a refreshed UI, improved data quality, and AI tools for ICP and segmentation analysis.

Users no longer need to build company and contact lists separately.  Instead, build-a-list results are displayed as tabs, allowing users to analyze both company and contact results without requiring them to rekey their query.

Echobot’s product vision is based on its “first principles of data” delivered through its service.  “For data to be useful, it has to be high quality, connected, and fully compliant,” said CEO Bastiaan Karweg.

Data improvements include an Email Validation Engine (EVA) and a “True Compliance” process for GDPR.  EVA “eliminates stale records” and implements mail server and pattern checking to improve data quality.  The EVA reduces bounce rates by up to thirty percent.

“For your outreach to be truly GDPR compliant, you not only need a Legitimate Interest but also be mindful of the preferences of the people you are trying to contact,” stated Karweg.  “Using Echobot, each contact record comes with a public source URL so you can be 100% confident when a prospect asks you, ‘Hey, where did you get my data from?’” Also new is a subject taxonomy that covers over 100,000 topics and industry keywords.

Echobot offers data for DACH, the UK, and the EU. A French dataset will be available in Q1.

Echobot is launching an EU Data pack that “covers the most important companies from all of Europe,” Karweg informed GZ Consulting.  “It’s not as deep data as with DACH, UK, or France, but it will give clients access to essential brands and contacts in each market.”

All four regions (DACH, UK, France, and EU) will be available in all three products (TARGET prospecting, CONNECT Sales Intelligence, and DATACARE hygiene) and the API in any combination.  However, the EU Data Pack omits company and contact data for the DACH countries, France, and the UK.

A French dataset, spanning six million companies, will be launched in Q1 with a French UI and localization.  French sales will be managed from the Karlsruhe office as it is only three miles from the French border.

Finally, Echobot expanded its sales triggers to 33 English-language event categories spanning the full UK universe.  French triggers are in development.

“We are excited to start 2022 with our new product and data assets,” said Karweg.  “Our goal is to continue on our strong growth trajectory and gain more market share in other EU countries.”

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.