Predictive analytics vendor Leadspace snags 8-Figure Series B funding

Predictive analytics, despite being a term that is used by a multitude of vendors to describe a bunch of different things, is one of those industry terms that just seems to attract venture funding.

Leadspace joins an almost innumerable group of predictive analytics vendors - Lattice Engines, Infer, InsideSales and SalesPredict are but a handful of the other options. All of these vendors are leveraging technology changes, and delivering increasingly attractive product offerings. When it comes to technology changes, the availability of very economical public cloud services and easier data integration via APIs means that number crunching is less of a barrier than it used to be. Instead of building data warehouses and paying data scientists to pore through information, these companies can utilize real-time stream processing to surface insights from the increasing amount of data available.

In terms of the business demand, let's face it, commerce is getting more competitive all the time. Add to that the fact that consumers are far more savvy, and a solution that helps organizations focus their attention on the prospects most likely to convert, most likely to be profitable, or most likely to display some other attractive trait, is appealing to organizations.

So given this background, it is perhaps unsurprising that so many companies are doing essentially the same thing. Broader data analytics offerings fall into two camps. On the one side are the platform vendors that offer analytics on top of their existing applications. Perhaps the best-known enterprise example of this is SAP with its HANA in-memory analytics offering. The second group is the standalone predictive analytics platforms that have strong ties with applications like Salesforce and offer insights into data from those applications. Of course, this raises some questions; just how long will it be before Salesforce (and the other SaaS vendors) introduce their own broad predictive analytics products? More on this in a minute.

Anyway, under this market situation comes Leadspace, a company providing predictive analytics for B2B sales and marketing. The Leadspace platform combines social, web, intent, and structured data to discover and score in real time both companies and individuals who have the greatest intent to buy. Leadspace claims over 100 B2B brands as customers. Examples include Oracle, Autodesk, Microsoft and Five9.

For what it's worth, Leadspace is categorized among both Data Enrichers and Predictive Modelers in the July 2015 Forrester Research report, "New Technologies Emerge To Help Unearth Buyer Insight From Mountains Of B2B Data."

Leadspace is today announcing a new $18 million funding round. The latest round of funding was led by Battery Ventures with participation from other previous investors. Interestingly, given the previous comments about Salesforce, Doug Bewsher, the Leadspace CEO, is the former CMO of Let's hope that he has some insights into Salesforce's intentions in the space! It is worth noting that Salesforce has itself invested in InsideSales and Apttus, while introducing its own, admittedly lightweight, tool, Wave. A case of hedging all its bets, I guess.

Leadspace has managed to find some customers willing to differentiate the company from the other players.

"We evaluated a number of options that could significantly improve the effectiveness of our demand generation processes at scale, integrated into Salesforce and Marketo," said Eric Lewis, Senior Director of Demand Gen at RingCentral, a Leadspace customer. "Leadspace is unique in being a single platform that brings together data from multiple sources into a single source of truth for companies and individuals, finding net new leads, and helping us take the best action for every lead that we engage."

I suspect that there is no way that the market can support the plethora of players that exist today. For the meantime, however, Leadspace will keep pushing its growth in order to be one of the survivors. Time will tell how that goes for them.


Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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