ZoomInfo Acquires EverString (Part III)

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

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


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

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

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

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

CEO Henry Schuck

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

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

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

ZoomInfo Acquires EverString (Part II)

On Friday, I began coverage of ZoomInfo’s acquisition of EverString. Continuing with part II…


Over the past few years, ZoomInfo has been rapidly building its go-to-market intelligence through acquisitions and capital investment.  Initially, ZoomInfo (then called DiscoverOrg) rolled up competitors iProfile and RainKing, but in February 2019, they acquired ZoomInfo, a leading global contact information source.  The firm also managed two tuck-ins last year: NeverBounce email validation and Komiko Inbox AI.

After going public in June, ZoomInfo acquired intent data service Clickagy in October before acquiring Everstring.

ZoomInfo is exceptionally strong across many of the core B2B data categories, including

  • Global contacts (e.g. emails, direct dials, phone numbers, bios, social links, job function, and job level)
  • Technographics (e.g. vendors, products, projects, IT professionals)
  • Intent data (1st Party IP-matching and the recently acquired Clickagy real-time intent signals)
  • Sales Triggers (e.g. M&A, Exec Changes, Partnerships)
  • Org Charts (human-verified and modeled)

However, ZoomInfo has lagged behind other vendors in firmographics and linkage.  The Everstring acquisition plugs this gap across core firmographics, SMBs, and company linkages, putting the firm in a stronger sales intelligence, digital marketing, and B2B DaaS position.  The expanded company universe will significantly improve ZoomInfo’s match rates for batch, real-time, and continuous data enrichment.

In a multinational telecom provider test, the match rate doubled to 98% due to three factors: M/L-powered matching, historical matching against outdated records, and record completeness.

“EverString’s machine learning powered entity resolution (aka matching) algorithms are designed to accept and process multiple identifying inputs from a customer’s file, such as phone number and address, alongside the company name and website, improving the likelihood of returning a matching record.”

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck

Maintaining a historical file of inactive and out of date records provides significant value when batch processing enterprise records sitting in CRMs and MAPs.  Much of this legacy data is bad, but without a reference file with historical data (e.g. inactive and closed companies, former addresses, FKAs), operations teams don’t know which records are defunct businesses.

Everstring has nearly 100% fill rates on core firmographic fields such as employee count, revenue, and industry codes. The expanded firmographics improve field fill rates, lead scoring, lead routing, and analytics (e.g. ICP, TAM, segmentation).

Nevertheless, ZoomInfo has a few remaining gaps around public company financials and filings (e.g. SEC, Companies House, UCC) that would hold them back at financial services companies and European firms.  Everstring does ingest filing data (e.g. Secretary of State incorporations, UCC liens, 5500 ERISA filings with the Department of Labor, federal contract bids, OSHA, fleet data, UK Companies House) when building its business graph, but source data viewing is often required.


Continue to Part III.

ZoomInfo Acquires EverString

ZoomInfo continues building up its data assets with the acquisition of EverString, expanding Zoominfo’s coverage of companies and contacts.  EverString employs machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing to build profiles on 100 million companies, 120 million locations, and 70 million business professionals. Data are ingested from both online and offline content.  The expanded company universe is five-times larger than ZoomInfo’s current company universe, with roughly 30 million international profiles.

EverString also provides ZoomInfo with over one million linkages.  “This additional data gives sellers and marketers across all verticals better access and visibility to their total addressable markets, more complete enrichment results, and additional points of contact at their target accounts.”

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck described the combined EverString and ZoomInfo data cloud as the “first-ever business identity graph of its size with a level of accuracy and completeness purpose-built to help go-to-market teams identify actual buying centers rather than legal entities with no purchasing power.”

Along with corporate hierarchies, EverString expands ZoomInfo’s intelligence concerning website redirects, legal entities, and aliases.  Firmographics include sizing data, URLs, social links, contact information, year founded, DBAs, FKAs, and long-tail industry keywords.

“The acquisition of EverString gives ZoomInfo a comprehensive business data graph, providing the foundation needed for enterprises to identify their total universe of customers and prospects, define their ideal profiles, leverage granular keywords and attributes to predict success, and focus their go-to-market motions.”

Director of Communications Steve Vittorioso.

Headquartered in San Mateo, EverString was founded in 2012 and has 50 employees.  It made the 2020 Inc. 5000 list with three-year revenue growth of 112%. Customers include Snowflake, FedEx, Nokia, Seagate, and Staples. 

EverString’s DaaS platform delivers firmographics, technographics, contacts, machine learning insights, and intent signals.  

EverString also offers predictive analytics which will be incorporated into the ZoomInfo platform.  Other functionality includes similar companies, ICP modeling, and TAM modeling.


Continue to Part II.

ZoomInfo Launches Streaming Intent Based on Clickagy Acquisition

Last week, ZoomInfo picked up its most recent tuck-in, Clickagy, to expand its intent data capabilities. The real-time intent vendor is the basis for ZoomInfo’s new Streaming Intent offering.

Streaming Intent improves the timing and messaging around sales and marketing workflows such as

  • Prioritizing sales outreach to companies that are ready to buy
  • Interacting with prospects earlier in the buyer’s journey to build trust that won’t be present with later stage vendors
  • Triggering automated campaigns that warm-up prospects for your Sales team to call

Streaming Intent delivers real-time behavioral intent data that is “expansive and customizable.”  The Clickagy platform employs an NLP engine that identifies behavioral context in real-time.  Intent data is gathered from over 300,000 publisher domains and includes six trillion-plus new keyword-to-device pairings each month.  Intent data is sourced from over 91 percent of accessible devices in the United States.

Clickagy supports thousands of B2B topics and sub-topics spanning marketing, natural resources, entertainment, business services, government, healthcare, retail goods, and science and technology.

“Innovation in the B2B intent landscape has lagged behind the business-to-consumer landscape for much of the past decade.  Most B2B intent solutions today rely on the same set of underlying data generated by limited media cooperators and third-party cookie tracking.  Existing offerings only provide weekly batches of buyer intent on a finite number of topics because of heavy data processing that takes days to complete, negating opportunities to reach buyers at the opportune moment.  Other solutions offer late-stage intent, where vendors have already been identified, and it is too late for the addition of competing solutions.”

“ZoomInfo: Acquires Clickagy to Deliver Streaming Intent Data,” ZoomInfo Press Release, October 15, 2020.

Clickagy was founded in 2013 and based in Atlanta.  Clickagy CEO Harry Maugans has been named a VP of Product Management.

“Robust business data has always been the biggest hurdle keeping us from offering a transformative B2B product,” said Maugans.  “But now with ZoomInfo, we’re giving sellers and marketers the ability to further propel their go-to-market motions more effectively and efficiently.”

Actionability and usability have been significant issues that slowed the adoption and hampered the ROI of intent data.  Shuck laid out his vision of how Clickagy intent, tied to ZoomInfo company and contact data, will create significant customer value:

“The B2B world has been largely behind the B2C world with respect to using intent to activate go-to-market motions.  The primary reason for this lag is that B2B Intent offerings were never connected to the companies and the professionals at those companies in a way that would allow seamless activation.  By combining Clickagy’s powerful Intent with ZoomInfo’s robust database of companies and professionals, we unlock the power of intent for every B2B Go-to-Market organization…

Soon, go-to-market organizations will be able to build workflows that tell them instantly when Fintech companies in California, who have Snowflake in their tech stack, at least 100 employees, and $50M in funding, begin spiking on research for “cloud data platforms”.  That signal can simultaneously kick-off a workflow that captures the Vice Presidents, Directors, Managers, and other key stakeholders at those Fintech companies, check for open opportunities in CRM, and begin marketing automation, sales automation, and CRM campaigns against those decision makers…

Said another way, our customers will be able to create behavioral filters and overlay them across live web traffic, capture highly-refined intent signals in real time, and make them actionable within seconds.  This lets them engage prospects while they’re still in the research mode with a buying mentality—not weeks later when they’ve moved on to something else, or worse, after they’ve already made their decision.

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Shuck, “Why ZoomInfo is Acquiring Clickagy”

Intent data becomes more valuable when it can cast a wide net, gather and interpret signals with a high level of precision, and promptly deliver these signals.  It is in these dimensions that ZoomInfo has confidence in the breadth and heuristics of its acquisition.

Clickagy opens up the “black box” of intent data rules, offering a “robust and configurable technology that unlocks those algorithms and enables administrators to adjust the logical rules, keywords, inclusions, exclusions, and thresholds used to determine when a company is indeed exhibiting intent for a particular keyword or topic in order to reduce false positives.”  Transparency and configurability provide “unprecedented control” over the quality of intent signals.

Compliance

ZoomInfo Intent complies with privacy rules.  Clickagy does not collect any personally identifiable information.  Information is collected in the aggregate at the account level.  Instead of revealing who is conducting the research, Zoominfo identifies “functional decision-makers” at the account who are likely involved in purchasing decisions related to the intent signal.

Clickagy does not use cookies but instead relies on “privacy clusters” that are “persistent micro-groupings” of approximately 3 to 8 individuals who are “mathematically bound together to act as a single, trackable and targetable entity.”  As no PII is gathered, privacy clusters are consistent with GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, and COPPA.  According to Clickagy, “As they’re not privacy invasive on a 1-to-1 level, Privacy Clusters do not require notice or opt-in consent for tracking.  Privacy Clusters allow brands to maintain the advertising efficacy they are used to while maintaining compliance with constantly changing worldwide privacy legislation.”

Clickagy also offers audience targeting and activation across 300 DMPs and DSPs.  ZoomInfo already supports website visitor intelligence.

Deal terms were not disclosed.  ZoomInfo said the deal would have a non-material impact on their fourth-quarter financial results.  

No company size data was provided, but LinkedIn lists 26 employees at Clickagy.

ZoomInfo Acquires Clickagy

Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor ZoomInfo acquired real-time intent vendor Clickagy, “a leading provider of artificial intelligence-powered buyer intent data.”

Along with the acquisition, ZoomInfo announced the launch of Streaming Intent, which alerts customers when companies display above-average B2B topic search activity.

The acquisition is DiscoverOrg/ZoomInfo’s fourth over the past two years but the first since ZoomInfo went public in June.  In 2019, DiscoverOrg acquired rival sales and marketing intelligence vendor ZoomInfo before rebranding itself as ZoomInfo Technologies.  It also had two tuck-ins last year: NeverBounce, an email verification vendor that it was already using for data verification, and Komiko, the underpinnings of its Inbox AI service.

There are six major categories of B2B intelligence, and ZoomInfo is a significant player in four of them: Contacts, Technographics, Sales Triggers, and Intent Data.  They also provide firmographics, but this remains an area for future growth and development.  The category where they do not offer datasets is financial services intelligence, including company financials, filings (e.g. SEC EDGAR, UCC, UK Companies House), and risk reports (credit and supplier).

Deal Rationale

“In the last year alone, we’ve had literally hundreds of thousands of conversations with customers and prospects and one thing is clear—they want intent data to live at the core of how they go to market,” blogged CEO Henry Schuck about the rationale for acquiring Clickagy.  “And over the course of those calls it’s easy to see intent data taking a seat right alongside the two most important pieces of business information—account and contact data.  The three together, driving account identification, targeting, and segmentation will soon be table stakes for how sellers and marketers identify their next best customers.”

Schuck emphasized that product design at ZoomInfo is iterative with plans for improving a product in place before each release goes to production.  Shuck called their previous intent offerings good, but not good enough.  This drive to improve their intent services led them to investigate best-of-breed intent data solutions to enhance their offering.  Their research led them to Clickagy.

“Clickagy had built a robust data processing engine that looks at billions of key data points across millions of websites and then uses robust natural language processing and artificial intelligence to categorize and make sense of those data points.  Their technology, approach to data collection, privacy-first perspective, and focus on intent data made it clear that we not only wanted Clickagy to be a part of our intent product, but we needed Clickagy to be a part of ZoomInfo.”

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck

ZoomInfo Intent will continue to provide “good keywords, quality-focused data science, [and] industry-leading account data,” but now “casts a wider net” and delivers actionable intent throughout the day.  Combining the companies will “dramatically shorten the path from data, to decision, to action,” blogged Shuck.

“B2B intent data is becoming core to the way modern go-to-market organizations prioritize their outreach to prospects and customers,” wrote Schuck.  “Our acquisition of Clickagy enables us to scale intent to provide what will soon be the market’s most predictive and complete B2B intent data set for sellers and marketers.  We believe this acquisition both exemplifies our mission to continuously innovate and cements our position as the pacesetter for data-driven sales and marketing outreach.”


Tomorrow I will wrap up my discussion of the acquisition with an overview of Streaming Intent and Clickagy’s approach to data privacy.

Zoominfo Beats Back the Summertime Sales Blues

Zoominfo analyzed their Out of Office (OOO) emails and phone call connection rates over the past year to determine whether there was a dog days of summer impact on their business or whether it was a convenient excuse used by sales reps for taking their foot off the pedal in July and August.  It turns out that there is a sustained drop off in phone connectivity and an increase in OOO messaging in July and August.  For Zoominfo, the potential income loss was equal to $400,000 in monthly new Annual Contract Value (ACV).

Brian Setzer as Eddie Cochrane playing “Summertime Blues” in La Bamba

If we extend that loss over the last week of June and the first week of September, the summer lull would result in a million dollars in lost ACV (half a million dollars in 2020 revenue, but that is only because subscription revenue is recognized over the length of the contract, not when booked).

But a firm like Zoominfo has a very high retention rate, so stratifying the million dollars over the lifetime value (LTV) of the lost opportunities means that the cumulative LTV is likely in excess of $5 million (their 2019 dollar based net retention rate was 109%)

For a company that went IPO in June after touting strong new ACV growth in their May S-1, new revenue growth is key in maintaining confidence in your revenue teams.

“How did we respond to this data?  By stepping on the gas – we sent out an additional ~14k+ emails (~10% of normal volume) over the past two months and making an additional ~23k dials (~35% of normal volume) per month. 

Sales is — and always will be — a contact sport. 

This is just one of the reasons why it’s so important to have a vast array of contacts at prospects. Without being able to tap into our own data this wouldn’t have been possible.  That’s not cheap promotion, it’s a fact.”

Zoominfo CEO Henry Schuck

Around 90% of Zoominfo’s revenue is domestic, so they aren’t dealing with the long August vacations taken in Europe. The strategy of working harder over the summer allowed them to maintain new ACV growth during a soft period, but it might not be effective in Europe when business activity is reduced much more significantly.

OOO messages often provide alternate contacts that may be part of the buying committee. Acting on this intelligence and extending relationships to additional decision makers and influencers may improve both current and future close rates.

Zoominfo has a reputation for effective revenue operations management. They assumed the summer doldrum lore to be true and double downed on their outbound communications. But they also measured their sales and marketing efficiency to better understand the nature of the summer slowdown, allowing them to model and refine their summer sales strategy in the coming years.

Source: Zoominfo Blog, “Leveraging Sales Intelligence in the Dog Days of Summer

Zoominfo IPO

Zoominfo had a successful IPO on Thursday after raising its initial price from $16 – $18 to $21.  Shares opened at $40 and closed the day at $34, an increase of 62% over the IPO price.  Friday, goosed by the market rise following positive unemployment figures, Zoominfo rose to $38.89.  

Zoominfo raised nearly $935 million on the IPO and has a market capitalization of $14.8 billion.  It is trading on the NASDAQ under ticker ZI.

Zoominfo (FKA DiscoverOrg) has been a rocket ship, growing revenue both organically and inorganically.  DiscoverOrg made the Inc 5000 list for the past nine years (and would easily qualify for the 2020 list), and Zoominfo was on the list for seven years before being acquired by DiscoverOrg.

The firm began as a hand-crafted profiler of top companies.  When I first met CEO Henry Schuck over a dozen years ago, DiscoverOrg covered 1,300 companies and 20,000 contacts.  While the coverage was limited, the profiles contained rich information for named account reps, including emails, direct-dial phones, org charts, technographics, and biographies.  All of this intelligence was hand-researched and reverified every 90 days.  Users could download the profiles as PDFs and build exportable prospecting lists.  Over the next few years, they grew the data set, added Inside Scoops, and a wide set of enterprise software connectors.

DiscoverOrg grew organically until three years ago when it began acquiring competitors.  The first acquisition was iProfile, a firm where Schuck worked in college, followed by RainKing a year later.  The iProfile deal was small, but RainKing was their top competitor in the technology sales intelligence space.  The RainKing and iProfile datasets were quickly reverified by the editorial team and merged into the DiscoverOrg database.  RainKing provided DiscoverOrg with additional sales reps, around $35 million in additional revenue, and an expanded editorial team.

In February 2019, DiscoverOrg acquired Zoominfo, a contact-centric vendor with a deep set of emails and direct-dial phones.  The acquisition greatly increased DiscoverOrg’s coverage of companies and contacts and provided additional data collection tools (signature-block mining, NLP data gathering, and Datanyze technographics) to supplement the editorial team.

DiscoverOrg quickly moved to merge the two companies and launched a new platform only seven months later.  Not only did it support much of the key content and functionality of the legacy platforms, but it also served as the basis of new capabilities such as Workflows (trigger-based campaign deployment) and WebSights (visitor intelligence).  

Bringing that much functionality to the market on a new platform in under a year was quite impressive.  Based upon new product launches and re-platforming at competitors, I would have anticipated over a year for just the initial consolidated platform launch and another year of “fit-and-finish” work where missing features are supported but few new capabilities are addressed.  The firm even completed two tuck-ins in 2019 (NeverBounce email verification and Komiko Inbox AI).

Zoominfo now covers 14 million global businesses and 120 million business professionals.  “We’ve built a robust engine of millions of unique sources that come into a machine learning and artificial intelligence engine that’s making decisions every day about what to publish or not publish in our platform,” Schuck explained to Jim Cramer before the market opening.  The data is “constantly changing” as companies grow and shrink, hire new employees, upgrade their technology, open new locations, and launch new products.  

“That machine learning engine that we’ve built, that artificial intelligence, is keeping track of all of those changes across billions of data points in real-time and at scale.  And that is how we’re able to bring those insights to our 15,000 customers.”

CEO Henry Schuck on CNBC

When the new platform was rolled out in September, DiscoverOrg chose to rebrand as Zoominfo after the firm determined that it was easier to build brand perception than brand presence.

“I feel really good about the IPO,” said co-founder and CEO Henry Schuck.  “I feel even better about the company we built.  If we can continue on the foundation we’ve built, we can be a successful foundation stock for our shareholders.”

Due to the pandemic, the traditional stock market bell-ringing event was not held.  Instead, a virtual livestream bell ringing was displayed in Times Square.

“You expect to be in New York City at the Nasdaq building with the 60 people who helped you build the company,” said Schuck.  “We took an event that 60 people would be part of and made it an event that all 1,300 employees could be a part of.”

The Times Square screen also displayed, “Together, We Stand.  Divided, We Fall.  Stop the Hate.  Zoominfo.”

NASDAQ Building on June 4, 2020 marking the Zoominfo IPO.

The successful IPO “gives our company a bigger brand name and voice,” said Schuck.

According to the Oregonian, Zoominfo is now the second-highest valued firm in the Portland, Oregon area, trailing only Nike.

Manoj Ramnani, CEO of competitor SalesIntel, called the successful IPO both a market and product validation, noting that Zoominfo owns only 2% of its $24 billion TAM.  It also demonstrates the power of persistence.

“ZoomInfo has been in the market for a while.  They have gone through numerous acquisitions and have painstakingly scaled their business.  I know firsthand what it takes to build and scale a B2B data company, kudos to them.  The point is, success doesn’t come overnight. They have worked hard, and it has paid off,” complimented Ramnani.

Zoominfo Health Scan Analysis

Zoominfo, which is readying to IPO, launched a Health Scan Analysis to help firms identify “key segments for opportunities” within their Total Addressable Market (TAM).  The service identifies targetable market segments that are less impacted by COVID along with which segments to avoid.  Firms can then “quickly pivot their go-to-market strategy and focus their efforts on worthwhile prospects ready to buy.”

The Health Scan begins with a consultation where customers share details about their pipeline and business challenges.  Zoominfo’s data solutions team then analyzes the company’s pipeline and win-rate trends before and during the downturn.  The analysis includes “benchmarks to pinpoint where any pipeline degradation may have occurred.”

The Data Solutions team conducts a market assessment that identifies opportunities and sizes their TAM.  The report also includes a market segmentation analysis and a “hand-selected list” of targets from Zoominfo’s database of companies and contacts.

“Recognizing that current market conditions are extraordinarily challenging, it’s more important than ever to ensure that our customers are generating high-quality contacts for their pipeline.  We discovered valuable takeaways when examining our own position in this same manner.  As a result, we’re offering our clients these data-driven insights on how to optimize their go-to-market strategies so they can continue to hit their numbers and thrive in a changing market.”

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck

From the initial interview through report delivery [Sample PDF], Zoominfo promises a five business-day turnaround.

Zoominfo is not the only firm that provides pipeline analyses. Dun & Bradstreet offers a similar analytics service which combines firmographics with industry risk data and InsideView offers Apex.

Zoominfo Reaffirms IPO Plans

I have put together a detailed analysis of Zoominfo as it prepares for its IPO. The analysis is based upon twenty years of experience in the Sales & Marketing Intelligence Space, the past eight as an independent analyst.

Topics include an Overview, COVID Impact, Risks, Market Overview, Key Industry Trends, Content & Functionality, Growth Strategy Analysis, SWOT Analysis, and Key Events. The 100+ slide presentation is bundled with a phone consult. If you are interested in licensing the analysis, please contact me.

I also publish a weekly subscription newsletter which covers Sales & Marketing, B2B DaaS, and B2B Data. Here is my article on the planned IPO:


Zoominfo reaffirmed its plans to IPO, possibly launching a virtual roadshow next month.  In Q1 2020, revenue nearly doubled to $102 million year-over-year.  The firm also significantly reduced its losses to $5.9 million in Q1 compared to $40.2 million in Q1 2019.  

Losses were driven by debt, much of it associated with the Zoom Information acquisition in February 2019.  EBITDA rose 55%, year-over-year, to $51 million in Q1.  At the end of Q1, long-term debt stood at $1,238.8 million.

Zoominfo included Annualized Contract Value (ACV) data in its amended prospectus.  They likely wanted to emphasize that they are doing well during the recession, and revenue figures, which are a trailing indicator of sales success at subscription services, were not going to make that case as strongly as the ACV data.

ACV grew 87% year-over-year in April, with the customer base now above 15,000.  As revenue is recognized over the life of a subscription contract, ACV increases precede revenue growth.  Prepaid subscription revenue is displayed as a Balance Sheet liability that is reversed over the lifetime of each deal.  

Paid users rose to 202,000.

Net ACV growth remains strong, with ACV increasing $9.9 million in March and $10.4 million in April.  The April growth was their best first month of any quarter, surpassing October 2019 by ten percent.

The number of customers with ACV greater than or equal to $100,000 grew from 580 on December 31, 2019, to 630 on March 31, 2020.  Over 25% of ACV is tied to multi-year contracts.

The size and date of the IPO were not disclosed.  In February, a placeholder value of $500 million was provided.  The Zoominfo NASDAQ ticker will be ZI.

“Because of our largely subscription-based business model, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic may not be fully reflected in our results of operations and overall financial condition until future periods, if at all.”

Zoominfo Amended S-1, May 11, 2020

As the original S-1 was released before COVID-19 hit the US, this week’s amended prospectus contained the first mention of COVID as a business risk.  The pandemic has disrupted global business and could negatively impact Zoominfo’s stock price.  Zoominfo listed retail, restaurants, hospitality, airlines, oil, and gas as affected industries.  While none of these segments are part of their ICP (except for possibly their NeverBounce email verification subsidiary), they will be negatively impacted in recruitment (roughly ten percent of revenue) and event management.  Zoominfo lists recruitment as a targeted job function for ongoing development.

Furthermore, Zoominfo’s strategy is to expand beyond its moat of technology firms into broader sales intelligence and marketing services.  The recession reduces the number of favorable segments for executing this expansion strategy.

Zoominfo lists its Total Addressable Market (TAM) at $24 billion with a 2% penetration rate.

“As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we expect we will experience slowed growth or decline in new customer demand for our platform and lower demand from our existing customers for upgrades within our platform, as well as existing and potential customers reducing or delaying purchasing decisions.”

Zoominfo Amended S-1, May 11, 2020

A secondary impact of the pandemic and subsequent recession is increased buyer negotiating power.  Customers are expecting more significant discounts and more favorable contract terms.  They are also asking for early contract terminations and waivers of payment obligations.

However, Zoominfo’s core business is reasonably well protected from the recession.  In 2019, 39% of their ACV was generated in the software industry and 29% in business services.  These segments are less exposed than retail, travel, hospitality, and energy.  Software has heavily shifted to subscription models over the past few years, making revenue less volatile.  While their core industries are subject to layoffs in revenue operations, Zoominfo offers multiple features that make sales and marketing more efficient and effective in reaching WFH buying committee members.  Features and content sets that support WFH outreach include direct-dial and mobile numbers, org charts, deep contacts across the organization, data as a service for enriching and updating enterprise software platforms, the ReachOut Chrome plug-in, ICP/TAM tools, technographics, Scoops (sales triggers), Bombora intent data, and executive change alerts.  

New services such as Form Complete (web forms), WebSights (visitor intelligence), Komiko InboxAI (email insights), and Workflows (triggered sequences) help with collecting and enriching activity data.

Zoominfo, which has significant operations in Washington, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Israel, has fully transitioned to remote employment.  They have also implemented travel restrictions and shifted to virtual event marketing.


Continue on to a post-IPO follow-up article.

Zoominfo Data Quality

When Zoominfo launched its new platform in September, they focused on functionality, packaging, and new capabilities, but did not discuss how their databases were combined.  As the data collection methodologies of the two firms differed significantly, it was unclear how they unified the datasets.  Prior to the acquisition, DiscoverOrg created a second tranche of company and contact data that was labeled “technology-generated”  This data was not subject to their traditional human-verification methods and was segregated from human-verified data during prospecting under a secondary results tab.

When the databases were combined for the new platform, Zoominfo added data quality scores for each contact record.  Contacts are scored based on their predicted accuracy.  Thus, a contact record with a score of 95 has a 95% likelihood that the contact was at the company, and the email was valid.  Records were also assigned an alphabetical score: A+ records have a score of 95 or above, A records have scores between 85 and 94, and B records are scored between 75 and 84.  Contact records now display the numeric and alphabetical scores.  Quality scores are also included in file downloads and synced with enterprise software applications.

While the scores do not factor in direct dial accuracy, Derek Smith, SVP of Data and Research, indicated that direct dial accuracy generally lags the contact quality score by five points.

Data quality score thresholds can be adjusted based upon the user’s objectives.  When pulling contacts for an email campaign or starting a cadence through a sales engagement partner (Outreach or SalesLoft), setting a high-quality score ensures that the bounce rates are low.  This helps protect the firm’s sender score and prevents emails from being delayed or caught in a SPAM filter.  When setting up a dialing campaign, the quality score can be lower as there are fewer risks associated with bad phone calls (you might even get the contact’s replacement).  One can also selectively upload lower-quality contacts when there are only lower quality contacts that match a target persona at an ABM account.

Zoominfo data spans 100 million active global contacts across 20 million companies.  Of these, 73 million have emails, and 43 million have direct dials.  Zoominfo offers over a million contacts for seven countries:

  • The United States (64M)
  • Canada (6.1M)
  • Australia (4.2M)
  • India (3.7M)
  • The United Kingdom (2.0M)
  • South Africa (1.3M)
  • Brazil (1.1M)

Zoominfo employs several methods for contact verification.  NeverBounce, which they acquired last March, performs regular email verification tests.  They also send a set of email campaign tests to partners for monthly third-party testing.  Likewise, they send a test phone file to the Philippines for middle of the night phone testing.  These tests, along with regular data verification conducted by their human editors, help refine their data quality scoring model.

Data updates are driven by client feedback, editorial research, natural language processing of the open web, NeverBounce testing, and signature block analysis of emails from community members.

Zoominfo now provides mobile numbers alongside company and direct-dial phones.  Mobile numbers have been available from DiscoverOrg for several years, but Zoominfo did not collect them.  Zoominfo is now collecting them for all contacts.  Mobile numbers are not downloadable for most clients, but exceptions are made if there is a valid use case for mobile dialing.  For example, recruiters prefer to call mobile numbers versus direct dials, as mobile calling helps protect the privacy of the individuals being contacted.