Gong raises $200 million to surface sales insights with AI

Gong.io, a startup providing an “intelligence platform” for enterprise sales teams, today nabbed $200 million in funding at a $2.2 billion valuation, up from a $750 million valuation in December 2019 when the company raised $65 million. Gong CEO and cofounder Amit Bendov says the new capital will be put toward fulfilling demand for Gong’s products and reinforcing the firm’s leadership as it invests in product, engineering, and go-to-market teams.

A whopping 46% of business-to-business (B2B) sales reps list lead quantity and quality as their top challenge. That’s unsurprising given that only 44% of companies use lead scoring systems (according to a 2013 report by Decision Tree and Lattice) and only 5% of salespeople say leads they receive from marketing are “very high quality.” Suboptimal and delayed leads can have catastrophic effects — Harvard Business Review found that there’s a 10 times drop in lead qualification when reps wait longer than 5 minutes to respond and a 400% decrease when they respond within 10 minutes versus 5 minutes.

Gong’s solution is designed to uncover patterns in sales data, leading to insights that ostensibly help increase sales, reduce churn, and increase market share. It captures customer interactions over the phone, video, email, and face-to-face and integrates this with customer relationship management data, mining messaging for potentially relevant topics of conversation and info on the competition. Using Gong, reps and managers can audit the data analytics pipeline, customizing departmental dashboards for heightened confidence in forecasts that support other teams’ productivity.

Gong.io

Gong reveals how sales reps are performing on an individual basis, including the sorts of questions they ask, how they discuss pricing, and their “talk-to-listen” ratio. It juxtaposes this against the rest of the company’s (and industry’s) benchmarks and provides personalized recommendations, while at the same time capturing and indexing every word from conversations to make them easier to find. Users, who the platform automatically sets up with the right data permissions, can program alerts for any time a particular keyword comes up in deals.

Gong offers out-of-the-box integration with all office suites and video call systems and with most cloud telephony systems, as well as an extensible API that allows it to be used with any on-premises or legacy system. The process starts with a G Suite or Outlook 365 calendar integration that scans sales reps’ calendars for upcoming sales meetings, calls, or demos. A bot joins each scheduled call as a virtual meeting attendee to record the session’s audio and video, which it encrypts and uploads to Amazon Web Services (AWS) servers. Each call is transcribed from speech to text automatically (with 85% to 90% accuracy), and once a call is finished, Gong employs machine learning to perform analysis at the individual and aggregate level.

According to Bendov, Gong has over 1,300 customers, including brands like Autodesk, Hubspot, LinkedIn, MuleSoft, Outreach, PayPal, Shopify, Slack, Twilio, Zillow, and Zoominfo, reflecting 2.5 times revenue growth year-to-date in 2020. (In 2018 and 2019, Gong reported 5 times and 3 times year-over-year revenue growth, respectively.) In a testament to the company’s scale, it supports over 64,000 sales reps (up from 45,000 last December), billions of customer interactions, and trillions of call minutes.

Coatue led the series D investment in San Francisco-based Gong, which brings the startup’s total raised to $334 million. The round saw participation from Index Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Thrive Capital, Battery Ventures, NextWorld Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Wing Venture Capital. Last year, Gong doubled its workforce, and the company intends to add 150 more jobs in 2020, including 100 jobs in AI, engineering, data science, and other fields at its Israeli R&D center, which recently relocated from Herzliya to Ramat Gan.

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