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Copenhagen-based Ocean.io, a martech startup that leverages AI to help enterprises find the right business targets, today announced it has raised $7 million from Peak Investments and existing investors. The company plans to use the capital to build strong thought leadership and expand its presence in existing and new markets.
Today, almost all organizations – 92% as per Salesforce’s estimates – looking to sell products/services to other enterprises leverage account-based marketing (ABM) to grow their business. The technique revolves around marketing and sales teams coming together to target best-fit accounts and turn them into customers. However, the problem is, most of these efforts are human-led and based on inefficient processes, which can lead to the identification of irrelevant prospects and businesses failing to capitalize on their ABM strategy.
To solve this challenge, Michael Heiberg started Ocean.io in 2017. The company makes ABM intelligent and more accurate by leveraging artificial intelligence and data collected from over 300 million web pages, company registries, and public databases.
“Ocean.io’s machine learning algorithm uses a customer’s actual commercial performance data from their CRM to identify ideal customer profiles, and then searches for matching companies (in terms of work) in Ocean’s database,” Heiberg told Venturebeat. “The company populates this database using machine learning and natural language processing. It crawls hundreds of millions of web pages and synthesizes that data into a single, normalized dataset of the entire market.”
An enterprise just has to integrate Ocean.io’s solution with its CRM. Once that’s done, it can start using the platform to get an entire list of ideal companies across the globe – customers who are most likely to buy – and the relevant people who work there.
In order to discover the right set of people, Ocean.io says the marketers will have to create a target persona by defining the seniority and department of individuals they want to connect with. This way, when a search is conducted, the platform will provide complete contact information – number, email, LinkedIn profile – of the most suitable person who could actually convert the prospect in question into a sale. The CRM integration would also allow users to export their target accounts and contacts to create highly-tailored marketing campaigns.
Ocean.io claims its offering has been adopted by hundreds of enterprises across 30+ countries, including major players such as Sony, UserTesting, Brandwatch, and JGL. The companies have also reported significant benefits of Ocean.io, starting with a 22% reduction in cost-per-MQL (marketing qualified lead) to time savings of up to 34% and up to 900% growth in prospects.
Beyond this, demo booking rates have also grown twofold, with customer win rates surging by 25%, Heiberg said.
While Ocean.io’s solution can help enterprises drive sales and business growth, it is not the only one working in this segment. Over the last few years, multiple players have cropped in the AI-driven sales acceleration space, including giants such as Zoominfo and startups such as Clearbit, Cognism, and Apollo.io.
However, Heiberg claims Ocean.io is the only data platform that informs which accounts are your best performers and then finds all the matching accounts across the global market automatically.
“Our competition makes you start with a blank sheet, and then return only what you ask for. Ocean.io also uses machine learning and natural language processing to identify similar companies, instead of generic industry codes. The result is exponentially more accurate industry categorization, making for zero-waste sales and marketing target lists. The traditional industry codes that our competition relies on to determine what a company actually does are too broad to be useful in the age of account-based marketing and ever-increasing expectations for personalization,” the CEO said.
With the fresh set of funds, Ocean.io will scale its go-to-market model and focus on growing its footprint in Europe and the U.S. The company saw its revenue grow by seven times in 2021 and expects to clock similar results this year. The current revenue run rate stands at $6 million.
“Our investors have seen the traction we are gaining, including a doubling of client numbers every two months. Every existing investor was involved in the latest funding round, showing the confidence in our capabilities and impact. This investment will help us to grow faster and help our customers as they grow exponentially within their markets,” Heiberg added.
According to estimates from Markets and Markets, the global sales intelligence market is expected to grow 11.4% to $3.4 billion by 2024.
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