Inbound marketing software provider HubSpot announced yesterday its intention to buy Kemvi, an artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) startup best known for a product that helps sales reps deepen their relationships with prospective buyers.

Kemvi’s proprietary algorithm, DeepGraph, is the focal point of the acquisition. DeepGraph sifts through millions of pieces of content each day to learn about buyers and prospects, and delivers that information to sales reps.

According to a statement from Cambridge, Mass.-based HubSpot, “[DeepGraph] will be incorporated into HubSpot CRM, giving salespeople even more tools to carry out more contextual, empathetic outreach to their contacts.”

The Allure of DeepGraph

The technology leveraged by San Francisco-based Kemvi to build DeepGraph was clearly too good for HubSpot to resist. Here’s a quick summary of DeepGraph’s features and benefits to help you understand the power of its allure.

DeepGraph identifies new sales prospects, sources contact information, writes and sends emails, identifies new market segments and follows up with prospects until they're ready to talk to a sales rep. Thus, it frees up time for sales and marketing teams to focus on converting qualified opportunities into deals.

The software also securely integrates with Gmail, Outlook, SalesForce and other enterprise software to pull information about deal history. With the data it gleans, DeepGraph builds a knowledge graph about buyers, markets and products to help salespeople understand the nuances of their customers' behavior.

HubSpot’s Wider AI Reach

This isn’t HubSpot’s first foray into the AI scene.

DeepGraph will complement the existing AI within the HubSpot platform, where it is built into personalization and lead scoring features. 

HubSpot’s official announcement of the acquisition explains the move is the latest in its ongoing aim to “infuse more data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning into the core foundation of our software.”

In the same announcement, HubSpot’s Co-founder and CEO Brian Halligan, stressed the important role that AI and ML will have to play in the future of marketing and sales: “Today’s consumers expect a personalized experience throughout the buying process, meaning that the modern salesperson needs to spend valuable time conducting research and tailoring each interaction with that buyer. AI optimizes that process, saving time for the salesperson and delivering a world-class experience for the consumer."

HubSpot's Chief Strategy Officer, Brad Coffey told CMSWire about the company's plans with Kemvi:

“The Kemvi team will be joining the HubSpot team to bring their technology, understanding, and perspective on machine learning to the HubSpot product line,” he said.

“Our core focus is to bring Kemvi into the HubSpot growth stack and integrate with other technologies by leveraging the reach of our platform. The core use case for the Kemvi technology is to monitor the web on behalf of sales reps and help facilitate very personal engagements. A big part of this is the timeliness of the context and a big part of what we expect Kemvi to bring to the HubSpot platform.”

Views From Around The Industry

For further insights into the deal, CMSWire got in touch with three industry experts. The first of which was Ajay Khanna, VP of Marketing at Reltio:

“This acquisition underscores the trend that businesses are excited by the potential of artificial intelligence and the use of machine learning to better understand their customers,” Khanna said.

However, Khanna stressed that companies looking to leverage AI and ML need the right amount of data to make it worth their while and, “avoid being labeled just another data science experiment.”

Holly Hester-Reilly of H2R Product Science believes HubSpot's acquisition of Kemvi is a, “smart move for both teams.”

Hester-Reilly continued, “[By] combining DeepGraph's algorithm and process for processing publicly available data with HubSpot's data on real sales looks like a great opportunity to develop real-world machine learning solutions to solve real problems for HubSpot's sales customers.”

Finally, Anita Brearton, the Founder, CEO and Co-CMO of CabinetM, said machine learning and artificial intelligence will play a “critical role in micro-targeting prospects and delivering a personalized engagement experience to customers.” 

She went on to claim that, “Marketing technology companies that don’t embrace this technology are going to fall by the wayside.”