TechTarget Scoops up Oceanos Marketing

TechTarget LogoTucked into the tail end of TechTarget’s earnings release last week was notice that they had acquired Oceanos Marketing, a contact data management company.  Both firms are based in the Boston suburbs.  Oceanos brings “data quality and data management expertise that will help us improve our offerings and deliver better results to our customers.”

Oceanos began as a list broker in 2002, but has since evolved into a B2B contact aggregator and data refinery.  The firm aggregates 97 million active US contact records (as of August 2017) and retains millions of inactive names and emails to assist with hygiene.  Data is aggregated from over a dozen vendors and includes social data from FullContact and Pipl.  Oceanos provides data enrichment, TAM analysis, net-new contacts, and a set of data specialists to assist with projects.

TechTarget manages a smaller set of 18 million subscriber profiles, 16 million of which are technology professionals.  The Oceanos acquisition should allow TechTarget to improve both the quality of their subscriber dataset and expand coverage into non-technology positions.  As technology purchase decision making has expanded beyond tech titles, Oceanos provides significant lift into other job functions.  Oceanos contacts are mapped to 12 Job Functions, 109 Sub-functions, and 7 Job Levels.

Oceanos President Brian P. Hession identified their differentiators as their unique blend of technology, professional services, and data quality. With data quality being critical to ABM sales and marketing initiatives, the inclusion of real world project fulfillment through their program specialists provides Oceanos with data quality insights that are used to continuously inform and enhance the data quality processes. “We apply both technology and real-world insights to ensure the highest quality of data before we are releasing it. We are incorporating a continuous stream of data quality insights into our code to address the many nuances that a program specialist encounters manually on a dataset,” said Hession last summer.  “The way that Oceanos is going to be successful in the future is if we can assemble an internal contact database that is of the highest quality in the industry.  So there’s been a lot of focus on putting models on top of our contact data.”

“Social data plays a role in our data hygiene process and serves as a ‘signal’ within both our Data Quality Score (DQS) and ABM Usability Score. The social information is sourced from reputable partners,” said Hession.  “Oceanos does not scrape contacts across LinkedIn or, in that vein, any social media site. All of our contact records originate from carefully selected third party data providers.”

The acquisition cost was not announced but was deemed “non-material.”  Oceanos 2017 revenue was around $5 million.

Outreach Acquires Sales Hacker

Sales Hacker and Outreach

Sales Engagement vendor Outreach acquired sales training firm Sales Hacker. The acquisition amount was not disclosed.

Sales Hacker offers sales training webinars, conferences, podcasts, and online courses. Its blog draws 150,000 unique monthly visitors, and it runs meetups in more than thirty cities. The acquisition will allow Sales Hacker to drop sponsored content, raise the quality of its content, and enjoy access to a deeper set of industry insights.

“Sales is the only profession where the score gets zeroed every few months, which means the best reps are always looking for new ways to stay fresh and attack the coming quarter,” said Outreach CEO Manny Medina. “By providing relevant, unbiased and actionable content directly from seasoned practitioners, Sales Hacker plays a key role in helping today’s reps understand the latest trends, get inside the mind of their buyer, and ensure they are not left behind.”

Sales Hackers’ eight remote employees will be retained including CEO Max Altschuler who will join Outreach as the VP of Marketing. However, Medina told GeekWire that Sales Hacker will continue as an independent company and will not provide preferential treatment to Outreach in its coverage. There will be no Outreach branding on the Sales Hacker site nor will Outreach have access to the Sales Hacker database.

“Our main impediment to growth is awareness that this [sales technology] category exists,” said Medina. “Given that we are the largest, the fastest growing, and the leader in the space, I felt like it was upon us to inject the tide that will raise all boats.”

Medina argued that his competitors will also benefit from greater category awareness, but “given that we are the biggest, we have the most funding, we are the fastest growing, it’s kind of like our responsibility to make sure that the industry continues to grow and the category continues to grow,” said Medina.

“The mission is bigger than just building a company,” said Altschuler. “It’s about building a whole new category around Sales Engagement and Revenue Efficiency. Like how Salesforce pioneered the Cloud and HubSpot pioneered Inbound.”

The deal came together at Outreach’s user conference when Altschuler, an angel investor in Outreach, sat down with Medina.

“Max has this incredible asset, and every year he needs to figure out a growth plan for it, and we have an incredible need to educate the community that sales engagement exists,” Medina said. “So we came together almost magically when we sat down to map out what our problems were, what his problems were, we realized ‘hey we have a lot of alignment here.’”

Outreach is valued at a half billion dollars following a $65 million round D in May. The firm has approximately 300 employees and plans to hire another 50 before the end of the year. It has grown from $0 to $30 million in annualized recurring revenue in three years.

“Outreach has passed the inflection point where it’s less about marketing the company and more about creating a market for the company,” said Altschuler. “Investing in Sales Hacker in this way will allow us to create a better content experience for our readers and our customers.”

SalesLoft Acquires NoteNinja

NoteNinja transcribes calls, tags them, and supports quick topic searching for insight discovery.
NoteNinja transcribes calls, tags them, and supports quick topic searching for insight discovery.

Sales Engagement vendor SalesLoft acquired B2B SaaS Collaboration tool Noteninja. Durham-based NoteNinja provides meeting intelligence which transcribes, tags, and annotates meeting recordings. The service is managed by an AI bot which recognizes upcoming meetings on the rep’s calendar and attends the meeting.

“I realized our category of software was missing something important,” said SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter. “Neither us nor other engagement solutions were solving an additional problem. Customers told me they need more insights on what’s actually happening during sales meetings. They realize (and Gartner reports) ‘three out of four customers report spending more with a company because of a positive buying experience’. Modern revenue organizations need meeting intelligence software to solve painful problems.”

SalesLoft listed a set of sales challenges that are addressed by meeting intelligence platforms:

Meeting Challenges. Source: SalesLoft Blog.
Meeting Challenges. Source: SalesLoft Blog.

Tagging assists with meeting review, helping users search for key moments such as pricing discussions or prospect objections. According to Noteninja, “No longer do you have to click around a meeting aimlessly looking for the right spot. Save time and quickly hone [sic] in on the moments that matter for you and your team.”

Comments can be shared with co-workers or management, providing “game-film for meetings.” These excerpts can also be used for new hire training, objection handling, and learning from top reps.

“I’m incredibly proud for what this means to our customers and the advanced opportunity they will now have to deliver a better selling experience to their customers.  With the acquisition of Noteninja, SalesLoft is providing our customers with the first full suite Sales Engagement Platform that combines sales cadences with sales intelligence, serving AEs, SDRs, CSMs, managers, and execs to generate the most revenue.”

  • SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter

Noteninja supports major web conferencing services including GoToMeeting, Zoom, JoinMe, and WebEx. Google Calendar, Exchange, and Office 365 productivity applications are also supported. While a SalesLoft connector already exists, the firm is working on a native integration of NoteNinja capabilities which will be offered as a premium feature set within their product line.  SalesLoft is targeting August for native availability.

SalesLoft complies with state privacy laws.  “We deploy call recording governance for our current dialer and will be incorporating our technology across the platform as we integrate,” said VP of Product Strategy Sean Kester.  “We also work alongside the governance and compliance assets deployed by screen sharing technologies.”

NoteNinja does not automatically join meetings with generic (consumer) emails nor does it join meetings with only internal staff. However, this rule can be overridden by including the Noteninja assistant in the attendees list.

Acquisition terms were not disclosed.

SalesLoft has grown to 277 employees with offices in Atlanta, Durham, and San Francisco. SalesLoft supports over 2,000 companies including Square, MuleSoft, Alteryx and Dell.

SalesLoft is ahead of plan in 2018.  Q1 was above a “very aggressive” revenue plan to once again double revenue in 2018.  Q2 is tracking 120% of plan.

Approximately one-third of NoteNinja customers are joint licensors of the SalesLoft solution.

Radius Intelligence Merges with Leadspace

Radius graphic highlights the complementary assets of the two firms (Source: Radius Intelligence)
Radius graphic highlights the complementary assets of the two firms

On Monday, Leadspace and Radius Intelligence announced their merger.  The two firms were early entrants into the predictive analytics space, but the market for standalone predictive intelligence services has not developed as predicted.  Thus, VCs and private equity companies are sitting on large bets that have yet to pay out.

The merged company will continue under the Radius brand as the “leader in B2B data intelligence.”  Leadspace CEO Doug Bewsher will take over as the CEO of the merged firm while Radius founder Darian Shirazi will assume the role of Chairman.  The two positioned the merger as a coming together of firms with complementary assets across company (Radius) and people (Leadspace) intelligence.

“Radius and Leadspace as one company will deliver a standout go-to-market platform with the best data, artificial intelligence and integrations at its core… What’s truly exciting is that our mission remains the same. Radius will be the nucleus that powers data and intelligence across all B2B applications, channels, and users — now built on The Global Network of Record.”

  • Radius Intelligence Statement to Customers

Both Leadspace and Radius have edged closer to prospecting and data enrichment than other predictive vendors.  Leadspace has long offered contact enrichment and prospecting, even appearing in a 2015 SiriusDecisions report on Contact Data Management.  Meanwhile, Radius has built its own database of US company and contact data which it named “The Network of Record” and positioned as the “single source of truth for account data.”  The Radius database spans 18 million US companies and 25 million contacts with verified emails and direct dials.  Radius also offers digital ad targeting.

Radius is positioning itself as being at the center of B2B predictive analytics, B2B Audience Management, and B2B data management. However, several of the data solution vendors also offer advertising solutions including Infogroup and Dun & Bradstreet. (Source: Radius Intelligence)
Radius is positioning itself as being at the center of B2B predictive analytics, B2B Audience Management, and B2B data management. However, several of the data solution vendors also offer advertising solutions including Infogroup and Dun & Bradstreet. (Source: Radius Intelligence)

The new Radius will help sales and marketing teams “find the right data on the right buyers, and reach those buyers across any channel.”  Revenue teams will have access to the “industry’s most comprehensive data intelligence solution.”  Features include account and people targeting, data management, ABM execution, and integrations with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Marketo, Eloqua (Oracle Marketing), and Pardot (Salesforce).

Shirazi is positioning the company as an Einstein competitor with expanded assets to compete against Salesforce.  “We’re excited about this because it will create the largest number of customers, largest revenue base and really provide a company that is at scale in B2B data and intelligence,” said Shirazi.  “The only other major player in this space we believe is Salesforce Einstein, and we’re excited to really give them a run for their money.”

Shirazi provided the following list of planned enhancements to be rolled out over the next year:

Master Data. Master Growth

  • Extend reach and accuracy as The Network of Record unites with Leadspace’s proprietary, real-time virtual database sourcing
  • Take complete control of data governance with added data dashboard functionality
  • Enhance data matching and append for contacts, as well as lead-to-account matching features

Real Intelligence. Real Buyers

  • Strengthen targeting on individual decision makers in both the U.S. and international markets
  • Access enhanced segmentation, scoring, and insights on contacts
  • Leverage features from two effective sales intelligence tools

Scale Channels. Scale Revenue

  • Expand audience reach with the largest deterministic reach of any platform
  • Source more contacts with even higher accuracy and contactability rates
  • Connect more channels with more seamless integrations and partners 

Shirazi describes Radius as the next “backbone go-to-market platform.”  The combined assets “will enable marketing, sales, revenue ops, and customer insights teams to finally address their data gaps and conquer their targeting challenges. We will create a standout solution in a crowded, fragmented space of point-solutions where customers are forced to stitch together multiple products or change vendors every year.”

Back in 2015, Radius Intelligence had a market value of $500 million and funding of $107.6 million.  Leadspace never disclosed a valuation, but it received $59 million in funding with a $21 million Series C in December.

LinkedIn lists 100 Leadspace employees and 160 Radius employees.

The merged company has over 200 customers including Sam’s Club, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Comcast, MetLife, and American Express.  Both firms maintain “innovation centers” in San Francisco and Israel.



Part 2: Predictive Analytics Is Losing Steam as AI Becomes Prevalent across SalesTech & MarTech

Pitchbook Expands European Coverage

Pitchbook CRM tabs cover companies, people, deals, investors, advisors, and news.
Pitchbook CRM tabs cover companies, people, deals, investors, advisors, and news.

Company profile vendor Pitchbook added 171,000 European company profiles along with financial data and M&A transaction details to their public and private company dataset.  The new profiles cover France, UK, Germany, Benelux, Ireland, Sweden and Norway.  Pitchbook also backfilled 35,000 European companies with financial data.

“Our customers require a holistic view into global financial market activity to make informed business decisions, which is the key driver behind PitchBook’s aggressive push to increase coverage of Europe’s financial ecosystem,” said Doug Trafelet, Managing Director at PitchBook. “The new companies and financials included in this dataset expansion provides unmatched visibility into company health and industry fluctuations, which simply cannot be found elsewhere. Continuing to add and refine our coverage of the European market will remain a key priority in 2018 and beyond, especially as PitchBook asserts its presence in region, both in terms of data collection and corporate footprint.”

The Pitchbook Platform is approaching one million global companies with profiles of nearly 900,000 private companies, 80,000 public companies and 800,000 transactions. Pitchbook data is delivered via browsers, mobile, data feeds, Excel, and CRM.  The Excel plug-in supports custom charting and twenty pre-built models for comps, tear sheets, and valuation.

Pitchbook has over 2,000 clients who “use PitchBook regularly to follow and analyze the flow of capital across the entire private and public markets.”  The firm is a subsidiary of Morningstar and has over 600 employees.

The firm did not disclose whether they directly gathered the European private company data or licensed it from a third party.  However, as the expanded country coverage matches CreditSafe’s recent expansion, it is likely that CreditSafe is providing the company financials.

Pitchbook also recently added a Chrome Browser extension which allows subscribers to right-click on a company to view a company profile.

The Pitchbook Chrome Connector provides immediate access to Pitchbook company intelligence.
The Pitchbook Chrome Connector provides immediate access to Pitchbook company intelligence.

 

Ignite Technologies acquires Infer

Infer Account Based Behavior Score
Infer Account Based Behavior Score

ESW Capital completed the acquisition of predictive analytics vendor Infer and will be rolling it into Ignite Technologies. Infer offers predictive lead and account scoring. Use cases include TAM identification, segmentation, account selection, demand generation, lead scoring, opportunity scoring, and upsell/cross-sell. In a September 2016 report, Gartner said that Infer pricing starts at $30,000 and increases based on the number of models. There are also charges for net-new contacts.

This summer, ESW also acquired company intelligence vendor FirstRain and rolled it into Ignite as well.

The Ignite Prime program offers clients access to additional enterprise technology once they have signed a contract for one of the Ignite Technology solutions. For example, Infer customers would have access to additional enterprise software solutions such as First Rain, ThinkVine, and Placeable equal to the value of their Infer contracts.

“We’ve been continually impressed by Ignite throughout this acquisition process. They have a strong leadership team and the right strategy that’s in line with where the future of sales and marketing solutions are going, where there’s a need to converge multiple products into a cohesive platform to drive true, full-circle customer intelligence. We’re confident this is the platform that our amazing customers will want to build on and grow, and are excited for the Infer solutions to be a part of Ignite’s Prime Program which will help customers drive 2x ROI.”

  • Vik Singh, Infer’s CEO

Infer was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Mountain View, California. Infer focuses on predictive solutions for the technology sector and lists AdRoll, Cloudera, New Relic, Tableau, Xactly and Zendesk as clients. As of Q3 last year, Infer reported over 140 customers. Deal size was not disclosed.

SaaS Market Valuations

Venture Capital and Private Equity firms place a higher valuation on companies with recurring revenues. In Q1, software companies with a SaaS model received multiples of seven times revenue while other software companies received a multiple of 6.1.

“Any firm with recurring revenue is extremely attractive to investors,” said Rohit Kulkarni, head of research at SharesPost. “The subscription model translates to greater visibility of revenues, less volatility.”

According to PitchBook Data, Software-as-a-Service deals grew 217% between 2010 and 2016.

“SaaS is a more predictable and reliable revenue stream than if you had to go out and sell the software — the perpetual license model,” said Peter Fair, managing director at Golub Capital LLC.

Michael Larsen of Cambridge Associates said that SaaS models provide a “better measuring stick” as “these companies are moving toward more attractive, more readily transparent ways of selling products and they have attractive, meaningfully recurring revenues.” Employing a SaaS model does not prevent firms from failing but “it creates a more intensely analytical and measurable way of determining how a company is doing.”

For example, subscription firms that employ discounted offers to lure new customers may suffer from churn and see their business model unravel quickly. Subscription length needs to be carefully factored into valuing a firm and estimating its viability.