UserGems raises $20M to take on ZoomInfo to help with prospecting and sales intelligence – TechCrunch


Finding a approach to join with individuals who would possibly purchase from you, whereas spending much less time pursuing those that won’t ever have an interest, is one thing akin to a holy grail of the world of sales and advertising. Now, a startup referred to as UserGems, which has constructed a platform that mixes AI with information mapping to help determine the almost definitely candidates for B2B sales and advertising prospecting — by making it simpler to join with those that have been prospects earlier than who’ve now moved to completely different jobs — is asserting $20 million in funding — pointing to the chance for sales tech that helps tackle this problem.

The Series A is being led by Craft Ventures, with Battery Ventures and Tiger Global — each new buyers — and earlier backer Uncork Capital additionally taking part, alongside with particular person angels. It brings the full raised by the startup to $22.4 million.

UserGems now has some 90 prospects within the mid-market section, together with Procore, Medallia, UserTesting, Sisense and BrightTALK. It plans to use the funding each to spend money on product and expertise.

Based out of San Francisco, UserGems has an attention-grabbing origin story that speaks to how typically concepts and companies can develop out of unlikely locations.

Christian Kletzl, the Austrian CEO and co-founder of UserGems, was dwelling in Chicago after getting an MBA at Northwestern, when he inspired his twin brother Stephan — who had been working for PwC in Europe — to come to the U.S. and be part of him in constructing a startup.

They got here up with ShelfFlip, an e-commerce effort that aimed to compete in opposition to the eBays/Craigslists of the world with extra environment friendly expertise to promote your books, electronics and different pre-owned objects. Early on, the pair utilized to be part of Y Combinator with the concept, and they acquired in, however the idea wasn’t actually taking off for the pair.

“We went into YC with ShelfFlip, but scrapped the idea during the batch,” Christian mentioned. “We were motivated by the large list of companies that pivoted during YC and went back to the drawing board. We talked to a lot of companies in our batch and outside and came up with the idea of SmartHires,” a referral community for startups throughout the identical funding portfolio.

We lined it here, after the startup joined YC as a part of the Winter ’15 cohort.

Part of what the brothers constructed for SmartHires was software program they may use to observe when one buyer (particularly certainly one of SmartHires’ “main champions” mentioned Christian) moved from one firm to one other. Startups have a excessive fee of turnover, and so when the brothers talked about this to some others within the cohort, they acquired passionate about it… greater than they had been about SmartHires itself.

“More people seemed interested in that than our actual company, and that is how UserGems came to be,” he recalled. “Basically we pivoted twice since the YC days.”

UserGems is constructed on two primary concepts: how sales and advertising transfer; and how a lot of the trendy workforce strikes.

On the workforce facet, as Christian describes it, the times of getting a job for all times, and even for a number of years, are lengthy gone for a lot of, and we have now now entered “the great resignation.”

In the databases and websites that UserGems tracks — it covers and processes data from a variety of publicly out there sources of data, starting from Google searches via to information articles and rather more — no less than 20% of individuals change jobs yearly. That means it’s arduous to predict frequently when an individual in a single place shall be there the following time you look.

As for sales and advertising, these have turn into massively data-driven workout routines within the digital age: we have now extra details about individuals than ever earlier than, and extra software program than ever earlier than to handle contacting them en masse, extra channels to do it, extra analytics to measure how nicely they work, and so on. That, nonetheless, doesn’t change the truth that when it comes to profitable sales and advertising, the hit fee is considerably larger when it includes people who find themselves already acquainted with you or is perhaps extra readily all in favour of what you might be promoting.

UserGems basically brings these two state of affairs collectively: It’s a instrument for sales and advertising varieties that integrates with no matter CRM they’re already utilizing, to help observe individuals who they’ve accomplished enterprise with beforehand, to proceed working with them elsewhere, the place they turn into “prime candidates for marketing,” Christian mentioned. “It’s a treasure trove to utilize in the sales process.”

He notes that in some methods what UserGems will not be new: the very best salespeople basically already maintain detailed data and tabs on their greatest contacts. What UserGems does is permit anybody to basically do that “at scale.”

This can be simply step one of the platform that UserGems has constructed out. After contacts are established, machine studying algorithms then begin to be taught extra about who customers contact in order that it could possibly suggest which individuals they need to be reaching out to subsequent, based mostly on related product utilization and different alerts, to discover these prospects who’re extra possible to purchase.

On one facet UserGems is competing in opposition to the likes of ZoomInfo, LinkedIn and different platforms that help individuals seek for the proper sales prospects at particular corporations; on the opposite it’s additionally sitting in one other space of sales expertise extra generally called predictive sales, the place you will have actually fast-growing startups like (which has seen some COVID-19 growing pains however bounced again and is now valued at over $1 billion), LeadIQ and 6sense (now valued at over $2 billion). But with the traits round employment churn set to proceed, and that creating but extra complexity on the sales facet, it’s an space the place intelligent approaches to fixing the difficulty are certain to proceed to get consideration, one cause why the likes of Tiger Global — which has been behind among the greatest follow-on rounds for enterprise startups — is getting in early right here.

“B2B sales and marketers today have a hard time cutting through the noise—most follow the same demand generation playbooks and send hundreds of generic sales emails and sequences. That’s why many sales teams miss quota and customer acquisition costs skyrockets,” mentioned Brian Murray, companion and COO, Craft Ventures, in a press release. “UserGems understands that past users are future opportunities, and has become an undeniable asset for high-growth teams, driving bigger pipelines, increasing win rates, and reducing churn.”