Introhive Raises US$100mn for AI-Powered Sales Acceleration
While most companies suffered from slow business in 2020, Introhive processed more than one trillion transactions, 60+ million relationships, saved nine million employee hours, and supported users in 90 countries. Now, led by growth equity firm PSG, along with The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Evergreen Capital, and Mavan Capital Partners, Introhive has raised more capital for its successful AI-based sales platform.
Why Is This Important?
According to Introhive, up to 69% of all customer relationship management (CRM) projects fail. Salespeople know how difficult it is to extract useful sales intelligence out of stacks of data. Out of so many systems to tap into, which ones do you prioritise? Which do you cut? Which do you consolidate?
“We realized there were a whole lot of problems with salespeople at RIM not being able to hit their revenue numbers’, explained company CEO and co-founder Jody Glidden. As a result, he and Stewart Walchli started looking at artificial intelligence as a possible solution.
To build its AI platform, Introhive had to employ hundreds of engineers—and lose money for years in order to do it right. ‘If you’re automating data that is wrong 35% of the time, you won’t keep your customers’, Glidden said. ‘But’, added David Chun, founder and CEO of Introhive client Equilar, ‘moving the dial on a single relationship can lead to millions of dollars in revenue’.
How Does Its Platform Accelerate Sales?
Somewhat like LinkedIn, Introhive builds a chart of the people connected to a business. Though the data stays with a client and isn’t shared with a wider network, it ‘helps build more relationships and easily identify what great sales reps are doing that average reps aren’t’, said PSG managing director Rick Essex.
The AI platform automatically updates company sales and client data, communications, and behaviour in order to give salespeople more visibility and greater insight. As Glidden explained: ‘Our internal compass focuses on the 3 R’s—revenue, retention, and relationships—as the key ingredients to a successful and thriving business’.
How Is The Company Doing?
After the US$100mn influx of investment, quite well. The company isn’t disclosing its valuation, but according to Glidden, it’s raised US$150mn thus far and is doubling revenue each year. The clients it serves are well-off and wealthy—PwC, Colliers International, and Plante Moran, to name a few—and of those, Introhive retains 95%.
All in all, Introhive’s AI sales software is useful for any large enterprise trying to connect with business partners. Relationships are the basis of business, whether you’re a salesperson, a consultant, or a CEO—and Introhive, by the looks of it, is making them better.
With the recent funding, the company intends to invest in its strategic acquisitions, expand its global reach, and grow its engineering, sales, and marketing divisions. ‘The team’s acumen and highly capital-efficient model has set [Introhive] on a clear path for growth’, said Essex, ‘and we’re proud to partner with them on this journey’.
Nvidia’s platform for AI startups passes 8,500 members
NVIDIA Inception, an acceleration platform for AI startups, has now surpassed 8,500 members. That’s about two-thirds of the total number of AI startups worldwide, as estimated by Pitchbook.
NVIDIA Inception is a programme built to accommodate every startup that is accelerating computing, at every stage in their journey. All programme benefits are free of charge and startups never have to give up equity to join.
Since Inception’s launch in 2016, it has grown more than tenfold. With total cumulative funding of over $60 billion and members in 90 countries, NVIDIA Inception is one of the largest AI startup ecosystems in the world. Growth has accelerated year over year, with membership increasing to 26% in 2020, and reaching 17% in the first half of 2021.
Data from across the world
Inception figures show the United States leads the world in terms of both the number of AI startups, representing nearly 27%, and the amount of secured funding, accounting for over $27 billion in cumulative funding. 42% of US-based startups were in California, with 29% in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Behind the US is China, in terms of both funding and company stage, with 12% of NVIDIA Inception members based there. India comes in third at 7%, with the UK right behind at 6%.
AI startups based in the US, China, India, and the UK account for just over half of all startups in NVIDIA Inception. Following in order after these are Germany, Russia, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Korea and Japan.
In terms of industries, healthcare, IT services, intelligent video analytics (IVA), media and entertainment (M&E) and robotics are the top five in NVIDIA Inception. AI startups in healthcare account for 16% of Inception members, followed by those in IT services at 15%.
More than 3,000 AI startups have joined Nvidia Inception since 2020. “Some countries are accelerating their ecosystem of AI startups by investing money and encouraging the local players to create more companies,” said Serge Lemonde, global head of Nvidia Inception, in an interview with VentureBeat.
“In our programme, what we are looking at is to help them all,” Lemonde said. “The lesson here is really having this window on the landscape and helping the startups all around the world — [this] is helping us understand the new trends. We can help more startups by developing our software and platforms for the upcoming trends.”