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At a time when traditional approaches to outbound sales are slowing down, Bluebirds, a startup from former LinkedIn leaders, is paving the way with AI. The company today announced $5 million in seed funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Founded in 2022, Bluebirds stands out in the crowd by leveraging AI to discover unique triggers that give go-to-market (GTM) teams relevant insights on prospects they should target. This ultimately enables them to target the right individual with the right message at the right time, at scale.
The company said it plans to use the funding to hire expert data and AI engineers and add more triggers on its platform — creating a comprehensive solution to help teams build a strong pipeline and close deals more quickly with lower customer acquisition costs. Y Combinator, 1984 Ventures, SOMA Capital and sales tech veterans Godard Abel and Dharmesh Shah also participated in the round.
Automating triggers with AI and ML
A few years ago, sales reps executed mass outreach to potential buyers by profiling ideal customers and sending out cold emails and calls. The approach worked, but now, things are not as easy. The traditional channels of outreach have saturated with more competition and AI-driven spam filters coming into the mix.
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When working on AI products for sales and recruitment at LinkedIn, Kunal Punera and Rohan Punamia spoke with hundreds of sales leaders and noted similar challenges.
Eventually, they decided to launch Bluebirds to solve the problem with unique AI-discovered triggers such as past customers who trust the solution and recently switched jobs, compelling events from SEC filings and intent from job posting descriptions.
To generate these triggers, the company processes a huge volume of web data using a combination of LLMs and classical ML techniques.
For instance, the job change trigger currently offered simply requires users to upload a CSV of their existing customers or connect their Salesforce instance. Once the contacts are on the solution, Bluebirds’ proprietary algorithms select the highest affinity options and match them to their unique public profiles to detect a job change.
“If a job change is found, another algorithm classifies whether it’s a legitimate job change…Finally, the platform intelligently ranks the final leads by ideal customer profile score (created by analyzing past deals), so reps can focus on the best leads first,” Punamia told VentureBeat.
Abel, who is the CEO of G2, used the tool and was able to detect 10,000 job change leads within 24 hours, driving $100k in the pipeline the following week. Currently, more than 100 companies have signed up for Bluebirds to get similar benefits, including players like OneSignal, Front, Splash and Simon Data, Punamia said.
Interestingly, the base offering of the AI tool is free, allowing users to track unlimited contacts for unlimited job change leads. However, in order to have the job change list refreshed every month and take advantage of features like human validation of leads and Salesforce integration to distribute them to GTM teams, customers will have to shell out $1000 every month.
More triggers are on the way
Moving ahead, the company plans to continue this work. It will use the funding to add more data and AI experts to its team and build out new triggers to identify leads.
“Intent from job descriptions and compelling events from SEC filings are now in beta, with several more in active development. LLMs are powerful technology but using them effectively is as much an art as it is a science. We are rapidly learning where the bleeding edge of this tech lies and how to use it to scale outbound thoughtfully,” Punamia said.
While Bluebirds’ LLM-based approach to outbound sales is new and unique, it is not the only player working to provide reps with relevant intelligence to identify and close more deals. Others in the same segment are ZoomInfo (which acquired Chorus for $575 million), Uplead, Outreach and Apollo.io.
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