NetProspex receives $7m in Series B funding

NetProspex in Boston Globe

By Chris Reidy, Globe Staff

NetProspex, a Waltham-based provider of business contact data services, announced Wednesday it has received $7 million in Series B funding.

The deal was led by information technology investment firm Edison Ventures, which has invested $8.8 million in the company over the course of two rounds, NetProspex said in a press release. Previous investors also participated in this round.

The funding will be used to support “aggressive expansion toward category leadership in cloud-based data services,’’ Gary Halliwell, NetProspex chief executive said in a statement.

Founded in 2006, NetProspex seeks to drive customer acquisition by partnering with B2B marketers to deliver targeted prospect lists and profiling analytics.

Read full article on Boston.com

 

Need sales leads? NetProspex says its service finds data in the rough

Netprospex in Boston Business Journal

Boston Business Journal by Kyle Alspach, VC Editor

Date: Friday, December 30, 2011, 10:12am EST

For most startups, it probably wouldn’t be relevant for its CEO to have a background working as a diamond prospector in Africa. Not so at Waltham’s NetProspex.

“We’re looking for diamonds out of dirt,” said company CEO Gary Halliwell. “That’s what we do.”

Halliwell is referring to his company’s service for providing contacts to sales and marketing professionals — using a combination of crowdsourcing (users trade in contacts), technology that “cleans” the contacts and aggressive verification (including phone calls).

The end result is verified email addresses and phone numbers for customer leads, the company says. Halliwell contends that the service could ultimately be a billion-dollar opportunity. (Full disclosure: The American City Business Journals, parent company of the Boston Business Journal, is an investor in NetProspex.)

After steady growth in recent years, NetProspex says it had a breakout year in 2011, passing the milestone of having 25 million verified contacts on file and doubling its revenue (the firm doesn’t disclose specific revenue figures, but says it’s ahead of the plan it set a year ago).

Halliwell, an Oxford-educated geologist who spent five years exploring for diamonds out of a tent in the Kalahari Desert for De Beers, co-founded NetProspex in 2005 after serving as president of Zoom Information, a B2B contacts site.

The inspiration for the company was simple: Sales and marketing people need accurate contacts to do their jobs, but most options out there are notorious for having low accuracy rates.

“If the data is wrong, it’s useless,” he said.

The contacts are sent in by marketing professionals, and can be traded on a one-to-one basis (one contact for one contact). Users can also buy contacts, which is a main source of the company’s revenue.

Tech industry professionals make up a large part of the company’s customer base; professionals at EMC, Nuance, NetSuite and SAP are among the users of the service.

In the first quarter of next year, NetProspex also plans to commercially launch a service that will “clean” contacts for enterprise customers that feel their own contact lists are falling short.

NetProspex employs 48, and has raised $7.5 million in outside financing to date, from backers including Edison Venture Fund of New Jersey and American City Business Journals.

The Jig is Up. What’s behind Salesforce.com’s re-branding of Jigsaw to Data.com

Dreamforce 2011

 Gary Halliwell, CEO NetProspex

Along with 42,000 other people, I attended Dreamforce in San Francisco last week. It’s a staggering event, from the Jobs-like keynote by CEO Mark Benioff, to guest speakers like Google CEO, Eric Schmidt and even an appearance by Metallica at a private concert for thousands of Salesforce customers. 

Amidst all the hoopla, Salesforce surprised many with its announcement that it is rebranding Jigsaw to Data.com. Concurrently, the company announced a deal with Dun & Bradstreet to include its company data in the new Data.com product. 

What’s with the Jigsaw brand and why is Data.com better? What does a deal with Dun & Bradstreet mean? 

With attendance almost doubling each year, Salesforce’s momentum is testament to the company’s vision. By being first to market to harness cloud-computing with a platform business model in the CRM space, Salesforce has single-handedly fostered a bloom of innovation in business processes delivering significant value to thousands of nimble Salesforce customers in an area that really matters in these tough economic times – sales. 

Salesforce has considerably disrupted the CRM market by fundamentally shifting the innovation model in the CRM marketplace, taking it out of the imaginations of a couple of dozen product managers at Oracle or SAP and putting it into the hands of thousands of product managers and developers across Salesforce’s AppXchange ecosystem. This allows hundreds of partner companies to offer an array of sales tools and services to Salesforce customers.  

So what’s with the abandonment of the Jigsaw brand and the Dun & Bradstreet announcement? The answer to both is quality. The Jigsaw database continues to grow through its crowd-sourcing roots as B2B customers pool contact data, but we hear directly from partners and customers alike – and our own testing confirms – that the quality of the contact data continues to underwhelm.

The D&B partnership is focused around improving company data – something NetProspex did a good while ago to provide marketers with reliable company affiliation data. In other words, this partnership within data.com is much ado about nothing, beyond its deep integration into the Salesforce interface.

The quality of the Jigsaw contact information remains an issue.  The mechanism of sales people cleaning bad data just isn’t working because too many people game the system to gain points for free data. One adjustment to a contact record earns a point towards viewing another record. Besides, who wants their sales people cleaning someone else’s data? Crowd-sourcing business contacts clearly works in gathering data, but getting the crowd to clean the data is something NetProspex realized early on is not a viable solution.

In the past couple of years, Salesforce has been busy building or acquiring various strategic assets in the areas of collaboration with Chatter, social media monitoring through its acquisition of Radian6, and crowd-sourced Jigsaw for integrated sales data. Clearly Salesforce is revolutionizing the sales desktop and this bump in the road with Jigsaw is something it needs to overcome. We believe we can help.

For Jigsaw customers in marketing who need to drive leads, NetProspex has solved the quality issue, maintaining our database of millions of contacts at a continual accuracy level suitable for marketing automation. Our process validates data as it is contributed by users with a three-dimensional approach to verification including email, social, and manual phone validation. By aging out old data automatically, we strive to improve the accuracy of each customer’s purchase. No customer is harmed in these processes, as we do not ask customers to correct data. So if you are a Jigsaw customer and need a cleaner source of data, or new verified contacts at a scale that suits your business, let us know.

NetProspex Just Got Seriously Social

NetProspex in Huffington Post

Social companies

Background

Here at NetProspex, the last 2 weeks have been pretty exciting. Following the success of our prior Social Business Reports, we just released the Summer 2011 edition . Our aim was to illustrate the widespread social media adoption in the US business community.

It is our most comprehensive study to date, with more research, insights, and data than ever before. Our team analyzed 12 million businesspeople from the NetProspex database of crowd-sourced business contacts to provide a snapshot of social media activity and trends among employees of the nation’s largest corporations, industries, cities, and job functions.

This is definitely the LARGEST focus group we have ever seen.

Methodology

The findings were gathered by using the NetProspex Social Index (NPSI). This was used to score and rank social network activity across the top social networks, including Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

This score comprised of social media presence (the number of employees in a category with social media profiles registered under a business email address), and social connectedness (the average number of connections per employee across major social networks).

In this fourth edition, more contacts were analyzed, more granular categories were targeted, there was a focus on Twitter use, and the methodology was substantially updated, with several new, comprehensive categories added to the analysis.

Key Findings

Our report ranks the top performers and breaks them down by company, industry, job title and geographic region and includes eye-catching infographics and data visualization.

The most notable findings include:

  • The New York Times is the most social company, with Intuit close behind, both zooming past Google & Microsoft
  •  Technology companies dominated the Top 10 rankings
  • The Computer Technology industry is the most socially savvy industry in the US
  • Recruiting ranked as the most social job category, bypassing even communications and marketing professionals
  • The Silicon Valley takes the crown for the most social cities, with San Francisco and San Jose taking 1st & 2nd place respectively. These contributed toward the West coast beating the East coast in the Top 10 list.

Media Coverage

Our previous three reports all earned coverage in hundreds of media outlets, and have been used as reference material in business and educational presentations, studies, and reports. The 4th edition has seen a phenomenal response within the first week of launch.

The findings were published in The Huffington Post, Business Insider, and many other regional publications and technology outlets. Our very own Mike Bird appeared on Fox News last Tuesday, discussing how roots of social media are really taking hold within the business community.

Here at NetProspex we believe social media to be a natural evolution of B2B business communication. As B2C companies know well, businesses have to be where their customers are (after all, if you’re not, you quickly become irrelevant.) In a B2B world, brands must acknowledge that their buyers, whether the Director of IT or the HR manager, are active on social networks in their day-to-day workplace.

Today, businesspeople are having conversations in a public forum, about brands, solutions, trends and opinions.

This was reflected on Twitter where the news of our Social Report spread to almost 1 million accounts (analyzed by TweetReach).  Feedback included repeated comments such as; ‘great insights into social business’ and ‘interesting stuff you guys are doing’ with requests to even expand this study to examine global social media trends!

This social media frontier needs to be continuously embraced by B2B companies worldwide as they realize that being social is not just personal, it’s business.

You can see the full report here.

 

Alice Farmiloe – Marketing @ NetProspex

NetProspex Review: InformationWeek

NetProspex in Information Week

The idea of buying compiled contact lists isn’t new, so what makes NetProspex different? Two things, according to Bird. First, all contact info is verified by overseas staffers who call each number to make sure it belongs to the person whose name is attached to it. Second, “we’re the first to bake social media–Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter info–into each record in our database,” Bird says.

Read the full article

 

 

 

Vendor Helps SMBs Build Contact Databases

NetProspex in Information Week

Posted by Michele Warren Apr 12, 2011 17:11 PM

It’s not what you know; it’s who you know, right? Well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. I mean, knowledge is important in the grand scheme of things. But it’s definitely true that knowing the right people can be very helpful. And having a way with others can certainly be a boon to business.

How do you make connections with the right people, be they prospects, partners, suppliers, sources of information–whatever? If you’re not as successful in this area as you’d like to be, you might want to take a look at NetProspex, a cloud-based software application that’s dedicated solely to making your little black book thicker.

Read full article: http://www.informationweek.com/articles/229401480

4 Challenges B2B Marketers Face Today

Image Credit robertsmichaeltd
ten24’s B2B Content Marketing Summit held an informal survey of attendees. Here are their results, and the full article.
  1. Awareness – How many of you report to a CEO, management team, board or investor group that is telling you that your company awareness needs to be increased?  (How often are you hearing – we have a great product or service or story to tell – how come nobody  knows us?) 26%

Image Credit robertsmichaeltd2. Lead Gen – How many marketers here work closely with your sales teams or channel partners who say they need better lead generation programs – more leads, more qualified leads? (How often are you hearing – help me fill my pipeline so we can make our numbers?) 46%

3. Financial/Efficiency – How many of you are being told by your CFO or finance team  to continue the marketing programs, but implement them more cost effectively or with less budget? (How often are you told – do more with less?) 37%

4. Social Media Marketing Overload – How many of you feel overwhelmed by all the new tools, technologies and services available to marketers? (Are you feeling more or less effective? Are they making your job easier or harder?) New tools make it Easier 9%, New tools make it Harder 26%

 

 

Twitter Town USA

NetProspex in Mens Health

Researched by Wanda Lau, Posted Date: March 7, 2011

When we first decided to crown one town America’s Most Socially Networked City, our money was on Palo Alto. As home to the headquarters of Facebook, Palo Alto might as well be called Zuckerburgh. But the title instead goes to Washington D.C., a city where staying connected can get out the vote, and virtual handshakes help shape our nation.

We started by calculating the number of Facebook and LinkedIn users per capita, followed by overall Twitter usage (NetProspex). Then we looked at traffic generated by the major social networks, including Myspace, Friendster, Reddit, and Digg (analyzed by ad network Chitika). Finally, after factoring in the percentage of households that check out chat rooms and blogs (SimplyMap), we had the results you see below. Go ahead, tell a friend.

Most socially networked
1 Washington, DC     A+
2 Atlanta, GA     A+
3 Denver, CO     A+
4 Minneapolis, MN     A+
5 Seattle, WA     A+
6 San Francisco, CA     A
7 Orlando, FL     A
8 Austin, TX     A
9 Boston, MA     A
10 Salt Lake City, UT     A-

11 Cincinnati, OH    A-
12 Raleigh, NC    A-
13 Burlington, VT    A-
14 Portland, OR    B+
15 Madison, WI    B+
16 Dallas, TX    B+
17 Portland, ME    B
18 Sacramento, CA    B
19 Aurora, CO    B
20 Boise, ID    B
21 Charlotte, NC    B
22 Wilmington, DE    B
23 Oakland, CA    B
24 St. Louis, MO    B
25 Las Vegas, NV    B
26 Columbus, OH    B
27 San Diego, CA    B
28 San Jose, CA    B
29 St. Paul, MN    B-
30 Plano, TX    B-
31 Tampa, FL    B-
32 Nashville, TN    B-
33 Los Angeles, CA    B-
34 Phoenix, AZ    B-
35 Newark, NJ    B-
36 Miami, FL    B-
37 Norfolk, VA    C+
38 Richmond, VA    C+
39 Chicago, IL    C+
40 Durham, NC    C+
41 Colorado Springs, CO    C+
42 Des Moines, IA    C+
43 Jersey City, NJ    C+
44 Indianapolis, IN    C+
45 Milwaukee, WI    C+
46 Fargo, ND    C+
47 Columbia, SC    C+
48 Houston, TX    C+
49 Philadelphia, PA    C+
50 Birmingham, AL    C+
51 Cleveland, OH    C+
52 Kansas City, MO    C
53 New York, NY    C
54 Greensboro, NC    C
55 Reno, NV    C
56 Manchester, NH    C
57 Providence, RI    C
58 Baltimore, MD    C
59 Little Rock, AR    C
60 Louisville, KY    C
61 Sioux Falls, SD    C-
62 Omaha, NE    C-
63 Pittsburgh, PA    C-
64 Baton Rouge, LA    C-
65 Lexington, KY    C
66 Wichita, KS    C-
67 Anchorage, AK    C-
68 Lincoln, NE    C-
69 Cheyenne, WY    D+
70 New Orleans, LA    D+
71 Tucson, AZ    D+
72 Buffalo, NY    D+
73 Honolulu, HI    D+
74 Santa Ana, CA    D+
75 Charleston, WV    D+
76 Oklahoma City, OK    D+
77 Virginia Beach, VA    D+
78 Winston-Salem, NC    D+
79 Tulsa, OK    D+
80 Albuquerque, NM    D
81 Fort Worth, TX    D
82 San Antonio, TX    D
83 Jackson, MS    D
84 Chesapeake, VA    D
85 Jacksonville, FL    D
86 Riverside, CA    D
87 Memphis, TN    D-
88 St. Petersburg, FL    D-
89 Toledo, OH    D-
90 Corpus Christi, TX    D-

Least socially networked
91 Billings, MT    D-
92 Fort Wayne, IN    D-
93 Bridgeport, CT    D-
94 Detroit, MI    D-
95 Fresno, CA    F
96 Bakersfield, CA    F
97 Lubbock, TX    F
98 Stockton, CA    F
99 Laredo, TX    F
100 El Paso, TX    F

Charity Begins at Home Page
We know that social media sites are abused by stalkers and cheaters, but they can also be used as forces for philanthropic good. For example, the Facebook app Causes raised $12 million in donations in 2010. “Unlike giving anonymously, contributing through social networking sites increases concern about the issues and encourages friends to donate,” says Robb Willer, Ph.D., an assistant professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley. If you’re not on Facebook, go to SixDegrees.org and click “Create Charity Badge” to register, choose a charity, and place donation links on your social networks.

A Click Fix
If you check Twitter not once but, say, seven times an hour, you may be looking for an addictive hit. “Our brains release dopamine when we receive a notification,” says Carolyn Lin, Ph.D., a professor of communication at the University of Connecticut. “It fuels our innate desire to feel connected, in the loop.” Think you’re becoming hooked? Try downloading time-limiting software onto your computer. We like CyberPatrol (cyberpatrol.com, $40).

Read more at Men’s Health: http://www.menshealth.com/best-life/social-networking-cities?cm_mmc=MagURL-_-Apr2011-_-metrogrades-_-socialcities#ixzz21ZGHEa3v

 

 

Breaking Down the Marketing Automation Market

Image Credit subashanusha, Flickr

NetProspex’s business contacts are ideal for marketing automation platforms, as our accurate data keeps an automated engine running smoothly. Many of our customers utilize marketing automation to get the most out of every lead and contact in their universe, and those who aren’t are certainly thinking about it.

Our friends at Marketing Automation Software Guide (on Twitter @crmadvice and @MASoftwareGuide) have created this interactive map that helps buyers visualize how the market breaks down.

Image Credit subashanusha, Flickr“Marketing automation is a nascent and very fragmented market. We see it breaking down into 5 main segments: leaders, focused contenders, adjacent entrants, CRM gorillas and new start-ups. We started our map with profiles of 20 different vendors, but we plan on adding to it over time.”

</iframe<br />A <a href="http://www.marketingautomationsoftware.com" _mce_href="http://www.marketingautomationsoftware.com">marketing automation</a> research tool, courtesy of <a href="http://www.softwareadvice.com/crm/marketing-automation-comparison/" _mce_href="http://www.softwareadvice.com/crm/marketing-automation-comparison/">Software Advice</a>.<br />