ZoomInfo drops $575M on Chorus.ai as AI shakes up the sales market


zoominfo announced this morning that it is looking to acquire conversational sales intelligence tool Corus.AI for $575 million. According to data from Yahoo Finance, shares of ZoomInfo are unchanged in pre-market trading.

Sales Intelligence, Chorus’s Marketplace, is a hot spot that uses AI to “listen to” sales conversations to help improve interactions between sales people and customers. ZoomInfo is mostly known for providing information about customers, so the acquisition expands the platform of the acquiring company in a significant way.

The company sees an opportunity to bring together different parts of the sales process in a single platform,” with ZoomInfo’s historic top-of-the-funnel strengths in customer conversations driven from the middle of the funnel with insights that capture the chorus. It is,” it said in a release.

“With Chorus, the entire organization can make better decisions by unleashing the insights and analysis that you’ll only get if you sit on every sales or customer success call,” said Henry Shook, CEO and Founder, ZoomInfo. in a blog post Deal announcement.

Prior to the transaction, ZoomInfo was valued at less than $21 billion.

Chorus sales calls include what’s called a “smart theme,” which helps managers guide sales teams toward the type and tone of conversations that are likely to generate more revenue. In fact, according to the company, Corus has the largest patent portfolio related to conversational intelligence.

Chorus was founded in 2015 and has raised over $100 million, According to Pitchbook Data. The most recent round was a $45 million Series C last year.

CrunchBase News Report That at the time of its Series C round of funding, Corus had “doubled its workforce to over 100 employees and tripled its revenue in the past year.” It’s the kind of growth that entices venture capitalists, making the company’s 2020 funding a no-nonsense.

Pitchbook data in particular indicates that the company’s final private valuation was approximately $150 million; If true, this would mean that the company’s last private round was costly in terms of dilution. And that its investors did well at the exit, more than tripling the capital they invested last time, with investors who had previously put in capital doing even better.

But we are a bit skeptical about the company’s available valuation history, given what it claimed at the time of its Series C; It seems low. If so, the company’s exit multiple will be reduced, making its final selling price slightly less impressive.

Of course a half-billion dollar exit always materializes, even though venture capitalists in today’s red-hot and expensive market are more interested in a $1 billion exit and bigger.

Chorus.ai will not be the last exit in the conversational intelligence sector. Its rival Gong (often referred to by its URL, Gong.io) is one of the hottest startups in this space, having raised more than $500 million. Its most recent increase was to $250 million last month at a valuation of $7.25 billion.

The implication of the Chrous.ai exit and Gong’s huge personal assessment that the application of AI to audio data in a sales environment is incredibly useful, implies a total assessment of both companies given the number of customers.

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