Cognism – a case study
At Newable we help companies start, scale and grow by offering an array of services. Cognism is one of the companies that was helped by our investment department, where we provided them with the capital they needed to grow.
Cognism is a sales acceleration platform, using patented AI technology, which streamlines prospecting and lead generation to help businesses find and deliver new revenue. From humble beginnings in 2015, Cognism has grown into a bustling team of 90+ energetic, enthusiastic and determined employees. It services over 400 customers in the UK and beyond. Cognism’s growth to date has been fuelled by a number of investors, including investment from the Newable Ventures Limited (NVL) Scale Up Funds 2017 & 2018.
At Newable Ventures (NV), we pride ourselves on finding and investing in technology that is at the forefront of the 4th industrial revolution. When we were first introduced to Cognism by the London Co Investment Fund (LCIF), we were instantly impressed at how their proposition fitted into the changing marketing sector. B2B marketing is increasingly driven by regulation, such as the GDPR; Cognism has developed a solution that helps companies find and attract new customers, whilst remaining GDPR compliant.
With investing, chemistry counts and upon meeting the Cognism team and CEO James Isilay, it became clear there was a real connection. As Alexander Sleigh, NPI Investment Director, remembers,
“James has a real passion for his product. There is no denying this. It was clear in our first meetings that it was not only a great idea, but driven by a passionate and intelligent entrepreneur.”
Following a series of meetings, Cognism were invited to pitch to the NVL Investment Committee. At this stage, Cognism had already pitched to LCIF and other angel groups, so the pitch was almost perfected. As James Isilay says, “By that point, you are used to pitching. You do it often when you’re looking for your first investments, so you need to learn quickly how to do it well. Luckily, the NVL Investment Committee were very friendly, so the whole process was very straightforward. Much easier than working with Venture Capital firms.”
The investment has been used to develop their product platform, increase their sales and marketing team and develop their brand. Newable Ventures co-invested alongside Tom James, who acted as the lead angel investor for Cognism and who now sits on its board as a Board Director.
But with Newable, it’s not just the financials that help grow your business. “We received a lot of other support from Newable during our relationship with them. For example, we were introduced to many potential clients through the Newable network and were introduced to some amazing connections to help us build our employee share portal,” comments James.
Newable Ventures has supported the business over multiple funding rounds.
“The fact that our existing investors are pleased with our progress and continue to invest in us, that really helps. It gives new investors the confidence to back us too!”
Our relationship with Cognism is also very much a two-way relationship, as we are a big advocate for their products and have been a customer of theirs for over a year. Their innovative prospecting and lead generation tools, paired with their dedicated account management team, allow us to reach and support more UK businesses than ever before.
But the growth journey for Cognism is only just beginning. They have recently closed a Series B funding round, and are looking to expand overseas. By visiting the Cognism head office in Vauxhall, you can really feel the energy and drive within their teams. As James concludes, “We’re just getting started. We want to grow 120% every year. Currently, we have 90 employees. Next year, this will easily be 180. As we enter new markets, develop our products and grow our teams, we’re ready to maximise on the AI revolution.”
Since NVL made their initial investment, Cognism’s strategic vision has been executed with tunnel-like vision. Cognism is now expanding to Singapore and Boston and is experiencing very impressive early traction, with monthly recurring revenues growing 400%, year on year. We look forward to supporting Cognism on the rest of their growth journey.
For more information on Cognism, please visit www.cognism.com.
For more information on Newable Ventures, please visit www.newable.co.uk/eis-investors.