Predictive analytics startup Infer has spent the last few years helping companies to improve their sales efforts using data. It’s been pretty successful so far, which is why Series A investor Redpoint Ventures is pouring in another $25 million to help it expand.
Infer provides a platform sales teams can use to optimize their efforts reaching out to potential clients and securing sales. It incorporates data from a company’s CRM and other sales and marketing databases, and combines that proprietary internal data with various signals available on the web to give sales professionals a better idea of who to pitch and how likely of a buyer they are.
By doing so, the company can help sales people focus on the most promising leads, it can shorten sales cycles, and as a result can lead to them selling more stuff.
Infer raised its last round a little more than 18 months ago, taking $10 million in funding led by Redpoint, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Social+Capital Partnership, Sutter Hill Ventures, and some angels.
But that was still pretty early on. Since its last round, the company has been growing about 150 percent to 250 percent quarter-over-quarter, according to co-founder and CEO Vik Singh. It’s signed up a roster of customers that includes companies like AdRoll, Cloudera, New Relic, Optimizely, SurveyMonkey, Xactly, and Zenefits.
Meanwhile, its average sales cycle has decreased between 40 percent and 50 percent during that time according to Singh. Rather than He attributes the shorter sales cycle to better customer knowledge about the value of predictive sales analytics.
Unlike when the company just got started, customers nowadays are familiar with the concept and potential lift they can get from a tool like Infer. And sometimes, Singh says, they’ve even budgeted for it.
Infer raised the new round of funds to to help accelerate its growth, particularly as it ramps up its sales and marketing team. It’s made a couple of key hires in that area, including Box’s former EVP of Sales Jim Herbold and Salesforce former Salesforce VP Jamie Grenney.
It’s also been expanding its engineering team, with key hires like Joe Gershenson, who was formerly at Facebook, and early Palantir engineer Jacob Scott.
While Singh said Infer received interest from other investors for its Series B, he ultimately decided to stick with Redpoint because Satish Dharmaraj has been a valuable board member. Meanwhile, Redpoint decided to double down because Infer was not just meeting but exceeding its targets.
“The company has executed on everything they said they would,” Dharmaraj told me. Perhaps more importantly, he says, “people who use the technology tell me they love the product.”
Well that’s good. Now it’s Infer’s job to just get more sales people using — and loving — the product.