Vainu Industry Taxonomy

European Sales Intelligence vendor Vainu implemented a proprietary AI-based industry taxonomy.  The 700+ segments are derived from company website content and “extensive training data sets to determine unique industries for each company.”  Custom industry labels may be combined when list building.  Thus, sales and marketing can target companies, such as “Nordic SaaS providers building marketing automation platforms” or “Medical device manufactures developing machine learning applications.”

The industry codes are clustered into 46 custom industry groups.  For example, there are over 80 software codes and 19 sustainability codes (e.g., Biofuel, Biomass Energy, Clean Energy).  Vainu has focused the initial set of codes around emerging technologies and fast-changing markets.  Traditional industries such as agriculture, food and beverage, and manufacturing are supported by broad codes as these industries are well defined by traditional industry taxonomies.

Custom Industry codes may be combined to build lists such as Medical Devices that employ Machine Learning.

“Traditional industry classifications for B2B segmentation don’t do the trick anymore—they are too generic, broad, or even incorrect,” blogged Vainu Customer Marketer Ella Tyrväinen.

Custom Industries are available on the Vainu platform and via its API.  Industry-based target lists may be exported as a CSV file or JSON.

Vainu also recently added three fields to its list exports: Countries of Operation, Website Languages, and Technographics.  In February, Vainu released a webCRM integration.

RevenueBase Launched (Part II)

Continuing from yesterday

A sample RevenueBase ICP built during the initial discovery workshop (additional sections include personas and technology).

Instead of building the ICP on commonly available firmographic variables, the ICP is customer service based and defined through the discovery process.  A bespoke taxonomy is created that applies custom tags by persona, industry, size, etc.

“We want to align your database with your go-to-market strategy,” Feldman told GZ Consulting.

RevenueBase promises to “replace all of your data vendors with one solution” that “reaches every company and decision-maker across the globe that will benefit from your unique offering.”  By delivering high-quality, targeted data, revenue teams can shift from managing databases and researching prospects to creating campaigns and focusing on selling.

RevenueBase employs AI for aggregating and integrating its multi-sourced data with the AI building a quality hierarchy for selecting which field to accept when vendors disagree on a value.  The research team assists the AI modeling by collecting training data.

Data quality steps include custom research, quarterly email re-verification, and annual phone checks.  Data is delivered via a quarterly secure CSV file transfer with a 90% accuracy SLA.

Content includes standard firmographics, mined and licensed business descriptions, sizing ranges, industry codes (SIC, NAICS, and custom), contact information, and technographics.  Funding data includes total funding, most recent round amount, and most recent round date.  While full family trees are not available, locations are tied to parent companies.

Contact data includes mobile numbers, direct numbers, LinkedIn URLs, tenure at current job, work addresses, and mapped persona.

RevenueBase has already aggregated 700 million business contacts and 100 million companies, providing it with one of the most extensive sets of contacts in the industry.

RevenueBase combines firmographics, technographics, and custom data insights collected by its research team.

Intent data and sales triggers are not currently available.

RevenueBase provides opt-out notifications to its customers, letting them know when an individual has opted out of their database or the database of one of their contributing vendors.  It also suppresses California mobile numbers in support of CCPA.

RevenueBase is off to a strong start.  Since soft launching the service in October, they have generated $800,000 in revenue and have a $500,000 ARR.  Early success has allowed it to launch the service without accepting outside funding. 

The firm is still in the early stages of development.  It has focused on building its content aggregation model, custom research, and customer service/discovery model based upon Feldman’s experience as both a B2B marketer and data industry executive.  As such, RevenueBase has an advanced DaaS vision but does not yet have APIs and connectors for data delivery.  However, it has a unique approach that is gaining early market traction.  Initial customers include Siemens, PTC, Localytics, SolidWorks, and CB Insights.

RevenueBase is sold as a flat-rate subscription service between $50,000 and $100,000 per annum.  Additional fees are applied for custom research. RevenueBase is headquartered in Boston.

Echobot Company Profile Now Available

Echobot Company Profile Report Cover Page

I am pleased to announce that my latest Sales Intelligence company profile is available for those looking to purchase a solution for the UK or D-A-CH region. I used the same methodology for Echobot that I employed when I wrote my book “2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors.”  The idea was to write an objective analysis (hence sections on weaknesses and competitors), not simply a puff piece.  I work closely with the vendor to describe content, functionality, connectors, roadmap, strengths, and weaknesses.

As Echobot is based in Germany, I also wrote about their GDPR compliance steps.

While vendors have input, I retain editorial control. I believe that retaining objectivity makes these reports more valuable for vendors as it both provides a roadmap for their future product evolution and provides prospects with a realistic view of a product’s strengths and weaknesses.

Echobot is making the profile available from their website.


Here is my summary from the report:

UK vendors have been launching sales intelligence and B2B DaaS solutions for the European market over the past several years. It is a welcome sign that European vendors now have the confidence to compete in the UK market. One of these vendors is Germany-based Echobot. Echobot is a promising new sales intelligence and B2B DaaS entrant to the UK market. It is the leading sales and marketing intelligence service in the D-A-CH region and enters the UK with a broad set of sales and marketing services. Echobot offers deep coverage of UK and D-A-CH companies, GDPR-compliant contacts, and signals (event triggers), delivered via web browser applications and extensions, mobile apps, Salesforce, and Zapier webhooks.

Along with company profiles, Echobot offers contacts, emails, news, social media mentions, and signals.

CONNECT (sales intelligence) and TARGET (list building) were recently launched in the UK market, but have been available as German-language solutions for the D-A-CH market for several years. As such, the company should move quickly to address any V1.0 bugs and fill content gaps. Since launching in September 2020, Echobot has integrated Google Translate into its platform for free-form text translation and refined its sales trigger precision.

DATACARE provides B2B DaaS hygiene services that verify, enrich, and append company and contact data. DATACARE flags duplicates, verifies emails, updates company names and addresses, and appends missing fields. DATACARE was launched in December.

Michael Levy, GZ Consulting Principal, “Echobot Company Profile,” 2021.

Echobot British Data (Part II)

German Sales and Marketing Intelligence firm Echobot is entering the British market with a UK Data Pack for its CONNECT company research and TARGET prospecting services. I covered the CONNECT service yesterday. Today I’ll be delving into the TARGET offering.

Echobot TARGET supports prospect list building for companies and contacts against a broad set of British and firmographic variables, including UK SICs, postal codes, counties, web technologies, and company signals.  Radius searching around postal codes lets reps target prospects near their home, office, or a client they plan to visit.  

TARGET also provides a set of event signals for prospecting and alerting.  German screening supports over 30 event categories, but the UK edition is limited to eight triggers, including M&A, exec changes, and partnerships.  The English-language signals are still being built out and will be released as Echobot individually tunes them.

Contact list building supports eighteen departments, five job levels, job title, and field availability (e.g. email, direct dial, XING link, LinkedIn link).

TARGET Lists are displayed as a set of company tiles with a business description, contact information, and the most recent signal.  Tiles may be expanded for additional attribute display of web technologies, social links, and firmographics.  Users may also link to the CONNECT profile and click through older signals.

TARGET Lists include a segmentation report with an industry pie chart at the two-digit SIC level, company size pyramid, and company heat map.  When rolling over the segmentation reports, ALT-text provides additional details about each industry slice or company employment wedge.  Users may click on the industry pie chart to drill down into a segment.  Clicking on the heat map takes the user to a full-screen view for zooming and recentering.

TARGET lists may be downloaded in four formats (Excel, CSV, JSON, and Salesforce), so records may be analyzed by sales or marketing, uploaded into Salesforce, or delivered to developers.  Users may download up to 20,000 records at a time.

TARGET users may also save lists, share lists, or use lists for suppression (exclusion lists).  Search criteria may be saved for re-use and alerting when new companies or contacts meet the search criteria.

A single region starts at €499 / month for both TARGET and CONNECT.  Licensing both the UK and D-A-CH regions raises the price by €299 / month.  Echobot is offering a €100 / month discount to customers that license their solution before the end of the year.  A seven-day free trial of CONNECT is available to prospects.  TARGET users receive a demo and a single-day, capped-download trial.

Echobot, like many sales and marketing intelligence vendors, has continued to grow during the pandemic.  The firm added over twenty staffers this year and posted record revenue this summer.

“The expansion of the market into the English-speaking area is an important step into the future for us.  It has never been more important for companies to digitally set up their sales and marketing processes.  We are very pleased about the strong growth and the fact that we are able to support our customers beyond our borders.”

Echobot CEO Bastian Karweg

We are beginning to see continental sales and marketing intelligence companies build UK or pan-European services.  Along with Echobot, French vendor SparkLane offers a UK service, and Scandinavian vendor Vainu has beta offerings for the UK, France, and the US.  Of course, we are also seeing UK firms build European services with Rhetorik, Cognism, and DueDil offering European datasets.

BuzzBoard Graph of 100M Global SMBs

Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor BuzzBoard has built a graph of global SMB organizations spanning 100 million companies, 20 million in the US.  The seven-year-old firm supports advanced segmentation and prospecting based upon a deep set of technographic and digital marketing variables.  During the pandemic, they added COVID prospecting and recommendation tools to help customers target segments and personas that are doing well during the recession.

It is their focus on SMBs and their digital signals that they describe as their competitive advantage. “Anyone who sells to SMBs should have deep knowledge of the prospect’s digital footprint, their needs, attitudes, triggers, and ability to pay.  These are reflected in the SMB’s operations stack and in their external presence.”

BuzzBoard assigns a Buzz Score to each of the companies in its database.  The Buzz Score is a digital marketing score that grades a company’s digital presence based on a 0 to 100 scale.  Users may drill into the score to see the underlying components.  Thus, a web design company can determine whether a prospect has multi-screen compatibility.  Initially, an estimated score is provided, which is +/- 10 points of the probable score.  When adding a profile, BuzzBoard automatically regenerates the Buzz Score and digital profile, though the process takes 60 to 90 seconds.

Prospecting variables include firmographics, technographics, website, SEO, advertising, social, estimated spend, etc.  A new set of COVID-19 risk filters let users select companies based on location, industry, operational status, ongoing Google Ad spend, and recent technology investments.  For example, restaurants may be filtered operationally by Temporarily Closed, Dine-in, Delivery, and Take-out.

On the user home page, they added two recommendation cards.  The “COVID-19 – Categories to work on now!” card highlights verticals that are growing and “need marketing support during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The “COVID-19 – Recommendations” card contains personas and segments defined by BuzzBoard’s data scientists “based on target locations that need marketing support during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The homepage consists of a customizable set of cards for training videos, COVID recommendations, Knowledge Base, Favorite Signals, etc.

The fixed search bar at the top of each screen lets users search by location combined with business name, URL, category, or keywords.  A left-handed filter bar lets users revise the prospecting list.  For example, a user can quickly search for roofers within 40 miles of Los Angeles with websites and Google ad spend, but a poor mobile experience (e.g. slow loading, not responsive).  Lists are displayed via a card-view or plotted map.  List parameters may be saved for future re-use.

Prospects may be added as profiles.  When added, BuzzBoard goes out and re-evaluates the Buzz Score based upon its current digital footprint.  Profiles contain a summary view along with tabs for Detailed view, Competition, Category Insights, and Recommendations.

Beyond prospecting lists, users may also quickly research a company from a BuzzBoard Connect Chrome extension or via a file upload.  When visiting a web page in Chrome, users click on the BuzzBoard icon in the right corner of the Chrome bar, and BuzzBoard opens a window with company details including firmographics, Buzz Score, Website and SEO details, technographics, social media, competition, communications, and recommendations.

Up to 300 records may be uploaded at a time.  The file must contain either name and URL or name and address for matching.


Part II continues tomorrow with a discussion of their Competition, Category, and Recommendation tabs.

LeadSift Growing Despite Pandemic

Just before the pandemic hit, Canadian behavioral intent vendor LeadSift hit $1 million in revenue with a 6% per month growth rate.  As the firm began to absorb the recession, CEO Tukan Das adopted a policy of radical transparency with his team, providing them with daily updates on the company’s status and letting them know they had cash in the bank to avoid layoffs.

“I would say we have navigated COVID pretty well. Fortunately, we were in a position where there’s more of a tailwind in our industry, with more data needed, and data specifically for helping other B2B companies identify their buyers.”

LeadSift CEO Tukan Das

The firm did take an initial 8% revenue hit, but it is now growing at a 5% a month, bringing their run rate above pre-pandemic levels.

“When COVID hit…a lot of companies just went into a little bit of a freeze,” said Das.  “Some of our customers were B2B companies in the travel and event management space, and some of them, their whole marketing teams were fired.  So they obviously had to pause any other spend.”

The end of trade shows meant the loss of some customers, but they went on the offensive and added technographics as an alternative source of technology-specific leads.  LeadSift also added a full-time marketing manager and part-time social media manager, bringing their headcount to 14 (two part-time).  The firm is profitable.

LeadSift also worked a deal with Halifax-based Innovacorp to deliver six months of intent data to Nova Scotian firms at no charge, with Innovacorp picking up half the foregone revenue.

LeadSift is developing a new control panel for delivering intent data and technographics to its customers.  The new platform will support additional analytics and customization.  The Q4 platform release will be more scalable and will provide administrators with greater control over which companies and topics are to be tracked.

LeadSift generates intent data via web scraping across company websites, blogs, job boards, social channels, SEC filings, etc.  LeadSift looks for public actions such as likes, comments, job postings, executive hires, and technology implementations.  It then associates these events with contacts.

The LeadSift company universe spans 40 million contacts associated with 8 million companies and domains.  Contacts include emails with twenty percent also providing direct-dial phones.  LeadSift contacts are GDPR compliant.  The company universe focuses on English-speaking countries.

LeadSift Head of Growth Alex Field views their event intent data as complementary to other intent data sources, with LeadSift helping verify other intent signals such as visitor intelligence or third-party media site visits.  LeadSift scores accounts based on persona (who is active), event type, event recency, and size of the company.  These scores can be combined with other intent scores to provide greater confidence around buyer intent.

Leads are fed daily to CRMs and MAPs, including Salesforce, Pardot, HubSpot, Marketo, and Eloqua.  Pricing begins at $1,000 per month for company-level intent and $1,500 per month for contact-level intent. Das is not looking for his next funding round but isn’t ruling it out.  “We are going to be opportunistic.  If we continue to grow at the rate we are, even during COVID, if we see an opportunity and the terms are right, we would certainly consider raising capital. But it’s not something where I’m saying, ‘We need to raise capital or we are going to run out of money.’”

GrowFlare Doubles Coverage

GrowFlare, which I profiled a few weeks ago, doubled its coverage of US active companies to 250,000.  While a few additional large firms were included, the bulk of the growth was at the SMB end of the market.  GrowFlare nearly doubled the number of companies with $10 million to $50 Million, bringing that set to 50,000.  The coverage of firms with less than $10 million in revenue quadrupled to 170,000 SMBs.  Profiles include firmographics and psychographics, the common phrases that firms use to describe themselves and their markets.

GrowFlare employs a Fit Score, which is the level of similarity between a company and one or multiple companies provided to GrowFlare.  When the new set of companies was added, they were immediately included in the Active Lists (dynamic company lists of prospects) as Alerts.  The new companies are also available for prospecting and research via a Chrome extension.

“We’re continuing to grow organically and invest 100% of revenue into the platform,” wrote CEO Matt Belkin.

Upcoming GrowFlare development is focused on expanded partnerships.  GrowFlare is looking to add contacts from vendors such as InsideView and deepen its integrations with HubSpot and Salesforce.

GrowFlare V2.0

GrowFlare rolled out version 2.0 of its sales and marketing intelligence solution.  Enhancements include a revised Prospector tool for similar company searching, a Chrome connector for quick profiling and prospecting against a company website, HubSpot CRM imports, keyword searching, and customer fit scoring for HubSpot.

The enhanced Prospector tool identifies 100 companies similar to a target company based on psychographics, which are the common phrases and interests companies share.  This approach differs from most vendors that employ firmographics and technographics in their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) modeling.  For the target company, the trending topics are displayed as a spider chart with new topics called out.  Reps can drill on trending topics to see an example from the firm.  Topical analysis is derived from websites, social media, government filings, and job listings.

When users click on a trending psychographic, they are presented with in-context examples of the phrasing with the term highlighted.  The trending topics and psychographics are “invaluable for marketing and sales personalization,” said Founder & CEO Matt Belkin.

The similar companies New Prospects list includes a Fit Score, which gauges the level of similarity to the target company along with the shared psychographics.  So if a rep just closed a deal at the target, he or she can be confident that the high fit scores are similar in their market positioning.  Fit Scores are exportable to lead scoring models.  A quick view magnifying glass icon displays the trending topics for any of the prospects.

Below the Prospects list are additional graphics and analytics, including a shared psychographics word cloud, top 10 shared psychographics, locations of the prospects, and sizing ranges (employee and revenue).  As these analytics are based on the prospecting list, they assist with campaign messaging.

Searches are auto-saved to Active Lists, which identify new prospects.  Company profiles are scanned and rebuilt each week with companies compared and ranked within the list.

“NEW means they are new to the list and is usually a great signal to reach out [to] now because something strategic has changed with that prospect, bringing them closer to your ICP.  Your window of opportunity is now,” said Belkin.  “For example, they launched a new campaign, rebranding, business model shift, product launch, leadership change, etc. – all of these can cause this change.”

Any Keyword Search or Prospector Active List is automatically setup for alerts, whereby GrowFlare notifies the customer each week of meaningful changes and new prospect opportunities.  When viewed, the table of new prospects includes a Trend score, which is the change in rank position from the prior week.  An Active List focused on competitors will notify sales and marketing when competitor positioning shifts.  This tool would also be valuable for competitive intelligence analysts and business development reps looking to track a narrow universe of competitors or partners.

GrowFlare recommends that firms run Prospector against themselves to see “where your messaging shines” as well as competitors to understand their current positioning.

”Everywhere you look sales and marketing teams are wasting millions of dollars trying to acquire the wrong customers and saying the wrong things.  It’s crazy and the whole approach is broken.  We started GrowFlare to fix it.  You already know your best customers, GrowFlare helps you find 100 more just like them based on their shared interests.  It’s easy to see how focusing on what buyers care about – their psychographics – is far more effective when marketing and selling to them.  It sounds fancy, but it’s the same magic that powers recommendations for Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify in the consumer world.  We just built it for B2B.”

­GrowFlare CEO Matt Belkin

The Prospector Bulk feature is similar to Prospector but executes against a full customer list.  According to Belkin, “The resulting output averages between 25x-100x more high-fit prospects that sales and marketing teams can target with account-based outbound campaigns.”

GoldMiner CRM compares a customer list against open CRM leads and opportunities.  CRM accounts may be uploaded from HubSpot or entered as a domain list. 

The results are similar to Prospector, with GoldMiner listing the best prospects based upon Fit Score and the best reference customer.  GoldMiner also displays

  • The most valuable reference customers – Which accounts are the top referenced customers for the prospect list
  • Match rates
  • CRM Growth Multiplier – The CRM Growth Multiplier compares the number of high priority prospects in the prospect list to the number of customers in the CRM.
  • CRM Efficiency – The number of CRM high-priority prospects versus the total leads in your CRM.  CRM efficiency indicates the percentage of high value accounts in the CRM vs. weak fit accounts as determined by GrowFlare.

Belkin suggests that the new leads list should be run through GoldMiner “every day or week” as “this can be very valuable in quickly prioritizing third-party list buys, webinar lists, partner lists, technographic lists, and much more.”


Part II of my GrowFlare coverage continues tomorrow with a discussion of Keyword Searching, the Chrome Extension, and pricing.

Echobot Growing Quietly

Echobot, the German sales and marketing intelligence vendor, continues to do well during the pandemic.  It has over 1,000 clients and a growing ACV.  They added 15 employees this year, bringing their staff count to 65.  The firm was founded in 2011 and has posted a consistent 40% compound average growth rate.  It is internally funded.

Echobot offers multiple products: The Target prospect database of European B2B firms (UK, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria) and the Connect intelligence database with 11 million companies.  Content includes registered data, technographics, contacts, and news.  The firm also provides online and social print monitoring and DataCare DaaS Hygiene for CRMs and ERPs.

The Karlsruhe-headquartered firm is readying a new 18,000 square foot office, which it plans to move into in 2021.

“COVID-19 did not slow us down,” said CEO Bastiaan Karweg.  “In some cases it actually helped to put our agenda of digital sales intelligence front and center – mostly to compensate for missed trade shows and grounded field sales operations.”

Echobot Target supports firmographic and sales trigger (event) prospecting

I’ve followed the sales and marketing intelligence space for nearly two decades. The market developed in the United States with few European vendors (Bureau van Dijk being the exception). Often, it was US vendors such as OneSource, Factiva, and InsideView covering Europe as part of their global coverage . But over the past half decade, there has been a blossoming of European based sales and marketing intelligence solutions from

Not only are these vendors based in Europe, but they have a better understanding of the local datasets, regulatory requirements, and market nuances. Several are multi-lingual and carry local filings to serve financial services and compliance use cases.

Global Database V2 Launched (Part II)

Yesterday I began my discussion of Global Database’s v2 sales and marketing intelligence solution.


Global Database supports a proprietary industry taxonomy along with country-specific SIC codes.  European NACE codes are on the roadmap.

Screening is straightforward with a broad set of selection criteria:

  • Companies: Employees, Trading Activity (Import/Export Flags), Activity Type (Distributor, Producer, Service Provider), Active Status, Incorporation Date Range, Legal Form
  • Executives: Seniority (7 levels), Department (29), Job Title
  • Industry: The Global Database industry taxonomy and 11 European industry codes, but no US SIC, NAICS, or NACE  
  • Location: Country, Region, City or State, ZIP
  • Financials: Turnover, Net Profit, Total Liabilities, Directors Remuneration, Profit per Employee, Exports, Currency
  • Digital Insights: Website Monthly Visits, Used Technologies (web-mined), Alexa Ranking
  • Advanced: Have Email Address, Have Telephone, Have Fax, Have URL, Have VAT, Have a Company Registration Number, Have Business Address, Have Lat/Long, Have Direct Email Address, Have Direct Dial, Contacts Recently Updated (this month, three months, six months)

The report list shows 50 companies at a time.  Users may download the list as a custom CSV file.  They also can quickly add, remove, or sort displayed columns.

As each variable is selected, Global Database automatically updates the company and contact counts.  Users may save both companies and search criteria.

Company lookups may be performed by company name, registration number, VAT Number, URL, and Phone Number.  Unfortunately, Tickers are not available, and companies are not sorted by size, making it challenging to locate the headquarters of large multi-nationals or global publics (quoted companies).  

Contacts may be looked up by name.

As a V1 UI release, there are some bugs.  For example, the Company Structure for multi-nationals with many subsidiaries appears without any viewable details unless the user realizes she can pinch and expand the display for a partial view of the tree.  The user can click on a node to view the name and ownership type, but other details are only visible by clicking through to the profile.  This display makes the ownership research process cumbersome and random.  Likewise, the officers’ view displays both active and resigned directors and corporate secretaries but does not display all active directors at the top of the report.

While it is easy to quibble with V1 UI issues, there are also some well-designed features.  The design has a mobile-ready layout with icons along the left-sidebar.  It also retains the most recent search criteria when the user clicks on the magnifying glass, search icon.  This feature allows the user to drill down to research specific companies without losing the search criteria or being forced to open multiple browser tabs.  Below the selection criteria are the most recently viewed companies.  

A tenders database search is a feature not generally available in sales intelligence services.

The option to request editorial research for accounts by function and role, with rapid turnaround, is a differentiator.

The new UI does not yet support Salesforce, but it is available on its legacy platform.  Salesforce integration is planned for Q3.  Other planned enhancements include credit reports for 40 countries and a News and Activity tab scheduled for Q4.

The service begins at £5,000 for a single-country, single-user license with the global edition priced at £30,000 for five users.  Additional seats are priced at £500.

Clients include Amazon, Uber, Getty Images, Leadfeeder, Telepass Italia, and The Economist. Buldumac indicated that business has increased during the pandemic as firms look for more clients, require tools for assessing business risk, and source digital sales and marketing solutions in the absence of event marketing.