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One of the biggest issues for SaaS companies not knowing who to self to and not knowing who to target. EverString looks to solve this issue through machine learning and artificial intelligence, using predictive marketing to help companies identify their best customer prospects.
After launching its platform just 15 months ago, EverString is now among the fastest-growing companies in the predictive space, and now it has raised $65 million, in what is the largest round ever for an AI company.
Lightspeed Venture Partners led the Company’s Series B, with participation from return investors Sequoia Capital and IDG Ventures as well as new investors, including Lakestar. With this round EverString has raised roughly $79 million in venture funding/
Founded in 2012, EverString helps build new pipeline and increase conversion rates with an account-based, full lifecycle, predictive platform for B2B sales and marketing.
The EverString Decision Platform identifies a company’s ideal customer profile, and then finds the prospects that best fit that profile, both inside and outside the existing pipeline. EverString’s SaaS platform provides Predictive Scoring, Predictive Demand Generation and Predictive Ad Targeting, empowering marketers with the full potential of predictive analytics and applied data science.
"The way we solve the problem is through a very simple methodology. The way that Netflix recommends movies, which is based on what movies you watched before and what you enjoyed watching, so you can find a similar movie," Vincent Yang, CEO and co-founder of EverString, told me.
"We do the game thing for sales and customers. We find leads that have converted, and ones that never converted and use machine learning to who else doesn't look like worst one and who looks like best one."
The company does thing by going inside of a company's CRM, which is where they store all of their sales information, including customer names, who they are and if they closed the deal. EverString can integrate inside of that CRM and thinks with everything, so that every five minutes it can read sales transactions.
"Once we have customer names, how do we get better information about the customer? We go out to the Internet, using natural language processing crawlers to analyze, what are things that they have in common? What are the features that makes it so that these are to become or not become customers?"
Once EverString learns that information is can more accurately identify which customers are the most likely to lead to a sale.
Right now the company works with enterprise companies that are mid market and SMBs, meaning companies that are below 750 employees. It now has more than 50 paying customers.
EverString is seeing pretty impressive results: in the first six months, its customers triple their conversion rates.
"That means a lot. If you get 100 leads, and can close one deal, now your net revenue will increase by three times, and you don't need to hire three times more sales people. They can be more focused, more targeted and double or triple revenue," said Yang.
While there are other companies that have been doing something similar to EverString, they have been focused on customization, making custom made software after analyzing your data, that would take them two to three. months.
"When we entered into the market we realized it can't take three months to analyze one company. We want to make that prediction the product. That is why we automatically integrate to internal CRM systems, and we can analyze data in less than 30 minutes," said Yang.
EverString also wanted to take a holistic approach to the problem, rather than tackling one small issue, such as tracking email response or focusing on sending better email, that its competitors were doing.
"We want to solve as many pain points as possible. Our product has so many applications that will help you to solve these problems," he said.
Finally, unlike its competitors, EverString does not focus on workflow tools, as AI is a lot smarter and compiles product data for you, helps you to predict the next action, and can even help you to make that action.
"We don't just want to make their job better, we want to to redefine their job," said Yang.
The company will use the new funding to expand its sales team. It currently has about 106 employees. and plans to have 140 by the end of the year. Over whole next year it will add another 100 on top of that.
It will also do a lot of marketing, to get the world out, and deploy capital into research and development.
"The high level picture of bringing an AI platform to the corporate world is about more than solving one problem the for market. We can see who else you should be reaching out to, help on top of funnel, recommend a list of companies you should be calling, but there are lot more things we should try to predict," Yang said.
EverString is already beyond using predictive analytics just for sales, also announcing on Tuesday the release of EverString Predictive Ad Targeting, a B2B ad targeting solution that is both account-based and fully integrated with predictive scoring and predictive demand generation in a unified platform.
Using artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize audience selection, EverString enables easy and accurate targeting of the right prospects at the right time to maximize impressions and conversions.
"In my former life I worked for one of the largest growth equity firms, and my main job was to try to target customers. I had a tough time knowing who to call. Even though it was a finance investment, I was selling money, so there's no differentiation. It was about finding the right audience. So I was thinking about this problem a long time ago, and how to apply predictive into marketing and corporate," Yang said.
"How I want to change the space in the next five to 10 years is something I think about every single day. What we are thinijng about is how AI can help individual sales and marketers do their jobs much smarter. We can say, 'Here are top 10 or 20 leads you should be reaching out to, 'and the AI engine automatically tracks phone calls and emails, learning what the employees has been interacting with. It's starting to get smarter and smarter."
Eventually, he told me, the company envisions a future where AI will tell employees what to do, and then possibly do it for them. EverString hopes to use artificial intelligence to fundamentally change the way work is done.
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