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Dow Jones Acquires Business Networking Tool Generate

Dow Jones has started its acquisitions again, now as part of News Corp (NYSE: NWS). it has bought a much-talked about company in the business social networking space: the Boston-based Generate Inc. Financials of the deals were not disclosed. As part of the acquisition, DJ will form a new business unit called Business & Relationship Intelligence in its Enterprise Media Group (which is headed by Clare Hart) that will focus on bringing Generate-powered solutions to market in the enterprise sales and media segments. Generate co-founder Tom Aley will lead this new group as SVP and managing director, while co-founder Darr Aley will become VP, marketing and business development, of the new unit. All Generate employees will join Dow Jones.

Generate is a complex business tool which marries elements of company and people information, and maps it with news information and business intelligence on contacts in a user’s account. As the company describes itself, it “crawls more than 75 million domains extracting comprehensive information on more than four million companies and 6.4 million executives. Generate

2 Responses to “Dow Jones Acquires Business Networking Tool Generate”

  1. At last Web 2.0 Generates a Winner in B2B Social Media!

    The sale of Boston-based Generate Inc. to Dow Jones on Friday is the first piece of good news venture capital can point to in B2B social media space. There have been surprisingly few successful exits in the space in the 5 years since the funding of the first wave of B2B social media companies like LinkedIn. Generate brings together next-generation search and extraction technologies with great client relationship mapping and is clearly a second generation play. Generate’s approach has been to carefully look at the experience of early entrants like TrueAdvantage to locksmith a superior solution that really works for sales. LinkedIn continues to build a great franchise but no exit yet, despite rumors of acquisition last year with Murdoch’s News Corp.

    There are three types of Web 2.0 plays in the space:
    · Better search engine and organization of online content for sales – like Generate
    · Dynamic community – like LinkedIn
    · Knowledge trading from the community – like NetProspex

    LinkedIn is popular with business development executives and for sales people in relationship sales environments where business introductions matter. But LinkedIn doesn’t help transactional sales executives, who don’t have the leverage to get someone to open their network for the process of selling lower ticket items. This is a big space as the vast majority of B2B transactions are below $50k.

    NetProspex, also out of Boston is another second generation Web 2.0 business that parallels the Generate approach. The first entrants in contact trading, like Jigsaw are finding that data quality is just as important as trading. Without it, abandonment rates make it difficult for a user-maintained system to get enough users on the system to keep the data clean. Like Generate, NetProspex has used the lessons learned to build a better mousetrap. NetProspex allows sales people to trade their internal prospect lists, but scrubs the data during and after the transaction. Sales contacts are a perishable commodity, a bit like fish…they soon go off. NetProspex technologies filter and validate contributed data to greater than 99% accuracy. Why is this important? Sales needs a higher level of accuracy, because it can get really irritating if every other phone number or email address is wrong. NetProspex expects that with the quality issue resolved, there is no reason why sales people shouldn’t have a great prospect map of their territory to find those customers they don’t yet have. It’s an exciting market and a very large opportunity, and as these second generation businesses realize the potential in the B2B social media space, more success stories will follow.