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Affinity, a courting intelligence platform designed to paintings with current buyer courting leadership (CRM) answers, lately introduced that it closed an $80 million sequence C investment spherical led through Menlo Ventures, bringing its overall raised up to now to $120 million at a $600 million valuation. Advance Mission Companions, Sprints Capital, Pear Ventures, Sway Ventures, MassMutual Ventures, Teamworthy, and ECT additionally participated within the spherical, which cofounder and CEO Ray Zhou stated might be put towards strengthening Affinity’s engineering group and increasing its gross sales and advertising and marketing succeed in into sectors akin to funding banking, inner most fairness, and accounting.
CRM techniques and networking platforms like LinkedIn have helped salespeople shut offers for many years. However they are able to be tricky to control, with some research discovering that as much as 70% of corporate profiles and make contact with knowledge are incomplete or old-fashioned. In keeping with one supply, 32% of gross sales representatives spend greater than an hour every day on guide knowledge access. Every other survey discovered that nine% to 17% of businesses believe problems with buyer knowledge integration and flawed knowledge their best demanding situations, in addition to issue in monitoring gross sales funnels.
Based in 2014, Affinity aggregates buyer knowledge produced through interactions and communications like electronic mail and calendar conferences, leveraging AI to investigate every knowledge level. The platform turns the research into insights about skilled relationships, revealing who in a company has the most efficient probability of opening doorways or ultimate offers.
“Maximum continuously, we’re competing with legacy, transactional CRMs, or homegrown touch and deal-tracking techniques. We see a large number of Excel spreadsheets or legacy CRMs like DealCloud deployed however no longer used,” Zhou informed VentureBeat by way of electronic mail. “An ordinary Affinity consumer has over 1,600 connections, and we’ve mapped greater than 48 million relationships total. This connection knowledge … drives each our courting graph and the connection ratings that give you the ‘heat’ introductions that ship offers. Dealmakers in inner most capital and services and products in most cases have loads of connections, making a community impact that additional will increase use of our platform.”
Zhou says that the pandemic positioned a better emphasis on courting development and intelligence for Affinity’s consumers, who needed to paintings more difficult to construct their networks and have interaction the correct founders or CEO. As face-to-face conferences become logistically unimaginable, the platform helped to replace touch data and observe task, bettering corporate profiles with knowledge like earnings, workforce measurement, and investment.
Affinity claims to have analyzed over 18 trillion emails and 213 million calendar occasions to construct its courting intelligence graph. Its platform these days powers over 500,000 new introductions and tracks 450,000 offers monthly, scoring the power of relationships the usage of algorithms that assess components akin to conversation frequency, recency, cadence, and reaction time.
“We noticed considerable enlargement in utilization of the platform [during the pandemic] from current purchasers in addition to enlargement in industries like funding banking as they tailored and speeded up their virtual transformation efforts,” Zhou stated. “Affinity has temporarily turn into the go-to relationship-management device for VCs and private-equity companies.”
To Zhou’s level, Affinity’s over 1,700 consumers come with Bain Capital Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, SoftBank Staff, funding bankers akin to Woodside Capital Companions, and monetary services and products companies akin to Constancy Investments. Tishman Speyer, American Circle of relatives Insurance coverage, Nike, Qualcomm, and Twilio are amongst different noteworthy paying enterprises.
“Affinity brings the facility of courting intelligence into sharp focal point, giving groups the information and context to near industry,” Tyler Sosin, spouse at Menlo Ventures, stated in a observation. “At Menlo, we began as a buyer of Affinity most effective to temporarily be informed lets no longer are living with out it. As traders, it dawned on us that Affinity is tackling a common drawback confronted through a large swath of industries. That’s once we knew we needed to chase those guys down and make investments. It helped that we had been monitoring Affinity … in Affinity.”
Within the close to time period, Affinity plans to develop its 125-person workforce to 200 through subsequent yr.
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