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Published in November 22, 2021 in the JPost:
The original ZoomInfo was founded in Israel in 2000 as Eliyon Technologies, and rebranded as Zoom in 2005. The company was acquired in 2017 by US private equity firm Great Hill Partners for $240 million, and then by Washington-based DiscoverOrg in 2019 for $800m. Following that deal, the entire merged company was renamed ZoomInfo.
“Our reputation in Israel hasn’t caught up with the market since our IPO, but ZoomInfo is now the largest company in Israel by market capitalization,” said ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck. “Our market cap is more than $30 billion, compared to NICE Systems, Check Point, Monday.com or Solar Edge, all below $20b. We have our CTO in Israel, and 400 of our 3,000 employees are here, so I think it is valid to think of us as an Israeli company.”
Three years after the company’s acquisition, and more than a year after it went public on the Nasdaq market in the first IPO of the coronavirus era, the case for ZoomInfo as an Israeli company is compelling. The company provides business data and intelligence about people and companies to sales, marketing and recruiting professionals at more than 20,000 companies worldwide.
“Most of our software was developed in Israel, with help from our teams in Boston and elsewhere,” Schuck said. “As DiscoverOrg, we did a lot of things well, but we didn’t build a world-class engineering team. When we acquired Zoominfo, we got a world-class R&D and innovation team in Ra’anana, with 40 team members. Now, we have built a much larger business with ten times as many employees in Israel, and even more if you count our acquisitions here.”
ZoomInfo’s platform provides updated business intelligence on 100 million companies and 150 million individuals so marketers and recruiters can identify and reach potential targets as effectively as possible. “We receive signals from a wide variety of premium data sources, so you have the most updated information to work with,” Schuck said.
For recruiting, for example, ZoomInfo could offer a list of everyone working as a director of product marketing in a certain region. “We gather that information from company reports, press releases, and other data sources, and our machine learning develops a profile of each candidate,” Schuck said. “We also built a “likely to listen” score to grade the likelihood that a candidate would be open to jumping to a different company, based on a series of signals like the time in their current job, how long since their last promotion, and how many times they have jumped jobs in the past. Then, recruiters can send a series of drip messages using different media with different levels of subtlety to target that worker with information before he is contacted directly.”
“This system, like most others, was developed in Israel,” Schuck said. “It is doing detective work on hundreds of millions of people, and making tens of millions of updates to the data every month. We are growing with the fastest momentum of any software in the market, and with profit margins higher than you usually find in the field.”
ZoomInfo raised almost $1b. in an IPO in June 2020 that was heavily scrutinized as one of the first large tech offerings held after the stock market crash at the beginning of the pandemic. “We had spent 2019 preparing to do the IPO on March 23, 2020, right when the world was shutting down,” Schuck said. “We were days away from the IPO when we decided to cancel it. But we continued to sell, and the business did well, growing strongly in April and May. We had very interesting debates about whether it made sense to be the first tech company to IPO, and we decided to do it. We ended up with the largest IPO of the year until Snowflake’s in September, and we conducted the whole thing online, virtually.”
After the company raised $935m. that day, the company has been on a buying spree, acquiring a number of companies. In July, it acquired Tel Aviv AI conversation intelligence platform Chorus.ai for $575m. in cash. The 40 people in its development office were added to ZoomInfo’s development center.
“The team in Israel is growing 100% year over year, and we are about to sign a lease on a larger office in Ra’anana so we can grow and add more employees over the next five years,” Schuck said. “We will see more M&As in the software space as we grow the business internationally. We’ll be opening a new office in Europe, and releasing new products. I can’t say if we are planning anything here, but I will say that there is so much innovation in Israel, and every time I’m here, I meet with a few companies that could be potential M&A targets.”
In the meantime, ZoomInfo’s presence here is firmly established. “Many of our chief officers are here in Israel, and we are having a lot of success with our sales and account teams here. As a company, we are strongly committed to Israel.”