Salespeople have worked for years based on their intuition, and it was hard for them to understand why one sale would succeed while another would fall through, say Amit Ben Dov and Eilon Reshef, the entrepreneurs behind the start-up Gong.io. Those in the sales field know that words and tone can make a difference between success and failure.
This idea led Ben Dov and Reshef to launch their start-up five years ago, with the goal of building a system that would save and analyze sales conversations and thus enable salespeople to improve.
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On Wednesday, the two announced that Gong has completed a $200 million financing round led by U.S. hedge fund Coatue, which has invested in firms including Snap, Spotify and TikTok parent company ByteDance. The money is for the company’s coffers.
This fundraising round gives the company a $2.2 billion valuation and puts it in the top-five list of Israel’s top valued, privately owned technology firms.
Since its founding, Gong has raised $334 million in total.
Two years ago, when the company had raised a mere $20 million, it made TheMarker’s list of promising start-ups. At that point, thousands of sales managers were already its customers.
Gong says that recording and analyzing conversations could turn into the business sector’s standard, but the founders never anticipated the massive spike in demand brought by the coronavirus pandemic.
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“The market doubled itself overnight. All the in-person salespeople started working from home. Everything moved onto Zoom and many needed to relearn the sales field. Our product started receiving growing interest and our 2020 second-quarter revenues grew three times over the parallel period last year,” says Ben Dov.
Ben Dov says Gong’s customers include more than 50,000 salespeople from more than 1,200 companies around the world. The platform supports 10 languages, although Hebrew isn’t one of them. Its customers include Linkedin, PayPal and ZoomInfo.
The company didn’t seek out this current funding round, says Ben Dov; capital from its previous $65 million round in December 2019 is still sitting in its account.
“From the beginning of the crisis, investors started chasing after us,” says Ben Dov. “It’s crazy, we’ve never felt so desirable.” The fundraising round closed within two weeks, he said.
Ben Dov says that the company’s product works like a “fly on the wall” in its customers’ information systems, scanning some 100 types of networks including Gmail and Outlook and Oracle’s customer management system. He describes it as similar to Fitbit for sales agents, recording measures such as the agent’s talking to listening ratio.