Among the trove of funding rounds, IPOs, and talk of establishing Israeli companies for the long run, the startup exit dream has been pushed aside. However, Israeli startup Chorus.ai quickly reminds us all that the dream is still very much alive. ZoomInfo, an American company, announces the acquisition of Chorus for $575 million in cash money. The entire 200-strong Chorus.ai team, including 40 Israelis, will transfer over to ZoomInfo, which has an R&D center in Ra'anana, Israel.
The OG founders, who left the company, stand to make a pretty penny
Up until the acquisition, the company had raised $100 million to date. The last round came just one year ago, and was led by Georgian Ventures. The round also saw participation from Emergence Capital, Redpoint Ventures, and Sozo Ventures. The Chorus executive board has changed over the years, along with the founders stepping down from their roles in the company. Roy Raanani, co-founder and until recently active CEO, took on the reins of company President as of March 2020. Later he moved to the Chorus.ai Board of Directors.
The three founders -- Raanani, Micha Breakstone, and Russell Levy founded the company in 2015 -- still hold a major stake in the company. The trio, along with other veteran employees, stand to earn a lot of money following the acquisition.
The man who entered Raanani’s shoes and led the company through the acquisition was Jim Benton, who will join ZoomInfo as Senior Vice President, Emerging Products. According to our sources in the industry, Benton was able to stabilize the company, which in parallel, witnessed its valuation rise sharply in a very short time. To compare; according to Pitchbook, the last round was completed at a $150 million valuation, post money. This represents nearly a quarter of the startup’s exit price.
Turning dozens of hours of sales calls into a 3-minute file
The Chorus.ai platform records and transcribes all of a company’s sales calls. Then it performs a quick analysis of the content said in the conversation, and provides sales teams and managers with actionable insight to better improve processes. The system can be used to train and guide salespeople to handle real-life situations of resistance or negotiations; minimize time for new hire training; and provide insight to improve the success of future sales calls.
The system automatically highlights key topics and words from different sales calls, also allowing managers to search for specific keywords or topics, such as ‘price’, ‘worry’, ‘competition’, and more. By incorporating NLP and machine learning technologies, the Chorus AI platform automates the allocation and association of keywords to relevant sub-topics; helping further save time and increase the probability of closing deals.
The company can compress dozens of hours of sales calls and inquiries into a 3-minute file, highlighting crucial moments from conversations, and offering sales teams and managers access to an organized database from which they can pull relevant insight. The company also deploys voice recognition technology that enables even deeper analysis of various sales calls.
ZoomInfo currently trades on NASDAQ with a market cap of $20 billion, and develops a platform that tracks information on enterprises and their key personnel, enabling sales and marketing teams to better target their campaigns. As mentioned, this is not ZoomInfo’s first move into the Israeli tech sphere, with the American martech firm already establishing an R&D center in Raanana, Israel, housing over 300 employees on-site.
“The acquisition of Chorus will accelerate our vision to deliver a modern go-to-market platform that brings together best-in-class intelligence with comprehensive data management, workflow, and engagement software, empowering companies to effectively execute their revenue-generating strategies. With the largest Conversation Intelligence patent portfolio in the industry, Chorus will advance each aspect of our vision by surfacing a new category of insights, illuminating new workflows, and enabling more targeted engagement at scale,” says Henry Schuck, ZoomInfo Founder and CEO.
“We are thrilled about the opportunity to join forces with ZoomInfo and bring Conversation Intelligence to every revenue team,” said Jim Benton, Chorus.ai CEO, who will join ZoomInfo as Senior Vice President, Emerging Products. “ZoomInfo has a bold vision of delivering a world-class go-to-market platform that empowers companies to drive better execution and more revenue. Chorus will play a vital role in helping deliver on that promise with deep, A.I.-driven insights based on real interactions with prospects and customers, a previously untapped source of crucial data about their relationships.”