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6Sense raises $40 million to automate B2B sales processes with AI

Business-to-business buyers are typically 57% of the way to a buying decision before they engage with sales and marketing departments. Motivated by the idea that AI and automation might have a role to play in helping seal the deal, five entrepreneurs — Amanda Kahlow, Dustin Chang, Premal Shah, Shane Moriah, and Viral Bajaria — cofounded 6Sense in 2013. The account-based orchestration platform developer today announced it has raised $40 million in series C funding.

This latest round — which was led by Insight Partners and brings 6Sense’s total raised to $105 million, following a $27 million funding round in April 2019 — comes after a year in which the San Francisco-based company doubled its customer base, with notable new customers including Box, Cisco, Dell, Zendesk, Sumo Logic, NetApp, Domo, Motorola, Cumulus, Symantec, and Tableau. CEO Zintak says the fresh capital will set the stage for growth in 2020.

“Our mission is to tackle the biggest challenges facing B2B sellers and marketers by helping brands reach the right accounts for their business at the right time, through the right channels, and with truly engaging experiences,” added Zintak. “Our company growth has been fueled by the success of our customers, and our … funding will enable 6Sense to further invest in AI-driven orchestration capabilities to help companies of all sizes build and scale account-based programs, uncover new opportunities, and efficiently create pipeline and revenue.”

6Sense’s eponymous product captures intent signals from known and anonymous sources, creating segments by account, behavioural intent, or a combination of factors to identify contacts and build out targeted customer buying centers. It aims to help prioritize outreach efforts and boost conversions with AI-informed behavioural and fit scores for accounts, leads, and more. It is also designed to trigger personalized campaigns through platforms like Marketo and Eloqua in response to prospects’ demands.

Under the hood is 6Sense’s Demand Graph, which captures known and unknown signals and automatically connects them to prospect accounts. Algorithms ingest historical intent data to reconstruct account-based buyer journeys for any given business, monitoring the Demand Graph and analyzing changes in intent to score over a quarter-billion accounts and people every day.

6Sense competes to a degree with San Mateo, California-based EverString, which has raised more than $75 million to date. Other startups operating in the segment include Demandbase, which has raised over $150 million with backing from high-profile investors, as well as Lattice Engines and Leadspace.

But 6Sense backers like Insight Partners managing director Jeff Lieberman aren’t concerned — and they have reason to be optimistic. The company claimed revenue grew by 100% in 2018, the year that marked its acquisition of AI startup ZenIQ, and that the growth continued well into 2019.

“As a startup, a company can sell via personal relationships and word of mouth. In the scale-up growth phase, the equivalent is account-based marketing and sales,” said Lieberman. “After an exhaustive review process, we were blown away by the data-focused sophistication of 6Sense’s technology and firmly believe it is the best solution for business-to-business companies who need to scale their go-to-market efficiency and grow revenue. The company’s account-based solution should be a core part of every scale-up company’s growth strategy. We’re excited to invest in 6Sense as the market-leading solution.”



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