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Affinity, a relationship intelligence platform designed to work with current customer relationship management (CRM) options, right now introduced that it closed an $80 million sequence C funding spherical led by Menlo Ventures, bringing its whole raised so far to $120 million at a $600 million valuation. Advance Enterprise 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 workforce and increasing its gross sales and advertising attain into sectors comparable to funding banking, non-public fairness, and accounting.
CRM techniques and networking platforms like LinkedIn have helped salespeople shut offers for many years. However they are often tough to handle, with some research discovering that as much as 70% of firm profiles and make contact with data are incomplete or old-fashioned. According to at least one supply, 32% of gross sales representatives spend greater than an hour every day on handbook information entry. One other survey discovered that 9% to 17% of firms contemplate points with buyer information integration and incorrect information their high challenges, in addition to problem in monitoring gross sales funnels.
Based in 2014, Affinity aggregates buyer information produced by interactions and communications like e-mail and calendar conferences, leveraging AI to research every information level. The platform turns the evaluation into insights about skilled relationships, revealing who in a corporation has one of the best likelihood of opening doorways or closing offers.
“Most frequently, we’re competing with legacy, transactional CRMs, or homegrown contact and deal-tracking techniques. We see a number of Excel spreadsheets or legacy CRMs like DealCloud deployed however not used,” Zhou instructed VentureBeat by way of e-mail. “A typical Affinity person has over 1,600 connections, and we’ve mapped greater than 48 million relationships general. This connection information … drives each our relationship graph and the connection scores that present the ‘heat’ introductions that ship offers. Dealmakers in non-public capital and companies usually have a number of connections, making a community impact that additional will increase use of our platform.”
Zhou says that the pandemic positioned a larger emphasis on relationship constructing and intelligence for Affinity’s clients, who needed to work tougher to construct their networks and have interaction the precise founders or CEO. As face-to-face conferences grew to become logistically inconceivable, the platform helped to replace contact data and observe exercise, enhancing firm profiles with data like income, workers dimension, and funding.
Affinity claims to have analyzed over 18 trillion emails and 213 million calendar occasions to construct its relationship intelligence graph. Its platform presently powers over 500,000 new introductions and tracks 450,000 offers monthly, scoring the power of relationships utilizing algorithms that assess components comparable to communication frequency, recency, cadence, and response time.
“We noticed substantial progress in utilization of the platform [during the pandemic] from current shoppers in addition to progress in industries like funding banking as they tailored and accelerated their digital transformation efforts,” Zhou stated. “Affinity has rapidly turn out to be the go-to relationship-management software for VCs and private-equity corporations.”
To Zhou’s level, Affinity’s over 1,700 clients embody Bain Capital Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, SoftBank Group, funding bankers comparable to Woodside Capital Companions, and monetary companies corporations comparable to Constancy Investments. Tishman Speyer, American Household Insurance coverage, Nike, Qualcomm, and Twilio are amongst different noteworthy paying enterprises.
“Affinity brings the ability of relationship intelligence into sharp focus, giving groups the information and context to shut enterprise,” Tyler Sosin, companion at Menlo Ventures, stated in an announcement. “At Menlo, we began as a buyer of Affinity solely to rapidly study we couldn’t dwell with out it. As buyers, it dawned on us that Affinity is tackling a common drawback confronted by a large swath of industries. That’s once we knew we needed to chase these 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 workers to 200 by subsequent yr.
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