Lusha nabs $205M to expand its crowdsourced database of sales prospects

Lusha, a B2B prospecting and contact data platform, today announced that it raised $205 million at a $1.5 billion post-money valuation. The round, which was led by PSG with participation from ION Crossover Partners, brings Lusha’s total raised to date to $245 million following a $40 million series A in February.

It’s estimated that salespeople spend around 65% of their time on non-sales and administrative activities. Perhaps unsurprisingly, more than 40% of salespeople say that prospecting — reaching out to potential customers — is the most challenging part of the sales process, according to HubSpot. It takes an average of 18 calls to actually connect with a buyer, and only 24% of sales emails are ultimately opened by the intended recipient. Additionally, only 19% of buyers want to connect with a salesperson during the awareness stage of their buying process, when they’re first learning about the product that’s being sold.

Assaf Eisenstein and Yoni Tserruya founded New York-based Lusha in 2016 in an attempt to ease the barrier to entry for salespeople. The startup’s cloud-based platform provides marketers and teams with access to tools designed to help identify buyers and gain “data-driven” insights on whom they approach — and when to approach them.

Tserruya was previously an iOS developer at AT&T, where he created Lusha as a side project. Eisenstein is Lusha’s original marketer and salesperson and helped to spread the word about Lusha.

“Similar to the shift that marketing underwent a decade ago, sales professionals are abandoning spray and pray outreach, in favor of super-targeted selling based on data,” Tserruya said in a statement. “Lusha enables all salespeople to utilize data to recognize their most relevant opportunities and maximize revenue in a simple, easy-to-use solution. We look forward to using this funding to be at the forefront of this industry shift and grow Lusha into the largest business-to-business sales community.”

Sales community

Sales teams are increasingly embracing data-driven approaches as the pandemic increases online interactions. According to a Salesforce report, 50% of teams leverage data to produce sales forecasts, while 34% supplement predictions based on intuition with data-driven insights. The same report found that the top 24% of teams are 1.5 times more likely to base forecasts on data-driven insights, while underperforming sales teams are 1.7 times more likely to forecast on intuition.

Lusha offers a sortable, filterable database of customer contact information maintained by a community of nearly 80,000 salespeople across 273,000 sales organizations, including teams at Facebook, Google, Dropbox, and Uber. The platform currently hosts 100 million business and 15 million company profiles, as well as 60 million email addresses and 50 million direct dials.

The platform integrates with existing customer relationship management systems like Salesforce and Outreach, and it offers a browser extension to find, target, and connect with additional prospects on LinkedIn and elsewhere on the web. Via Lusha’s API, sales organizations can update their systems with details like company name, size, industry, website, and graphics. An algorithm cross-checks data from different sources and combines data points to create single business contacts and company profiles.

“The Lusha community are members that have decided to share their contact details under the terms of the Lusha community program,” Lusha explains on its website. “We [also] receive contact details from end-users of our affiliates … [and we] license information from business partners who own established and trustworthy directories … [Finally, ] our proprietary algorithm scans publicly available sources and retrieves public information with advanced tools.”

Lusha says that it reviews each affiliate’s security and signs documentation to ensure that the data provided to it is compliant with privacy laws like the EU’s GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act. Companies and contacts who wish to remove themselves from Lusha’s database can fill out a form or request information about how the platform collects and uses their data.

“We have established a U.S. sales office strategically located in Boston … in order to serve as the company’s North American arm. Eisenstein has recently moved to Boston to head up our expansion efforts in the U.S. market,” Tserruya told VentureBeat via email. “We [are also continuing to] develop and improve our product offerings and usability to provide organizations of all sizes instant access to accurate data and company insights they need in order to optimize their sales outreach. Our unique … approach makes it easy for users to sign up, start using Lusha and see immediate value. This is contrary to industry standards that require lengthy sales qualification processes, multiple sales touchpoints, and big bottom lines.”

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