Xing, ZoomInfo Partner

    June 14, 2007

Xing and ZoomInfo have just partnered, leaving LinkedIn out in the cold.  But that’s okay, says LinkedIn’s CEO – he doesn’t really approve of those two, anyway.

Xing, ZoomInfo Partner
Xing, ZoomInfo Partner

First off, the details of the arrangement.  “The partnership will provide XING’s 2 million-plus members with immediate access to profiles on nearly 36 million business people and 3.8 million companies directly on the XING platform,” states a press release.  Similarly, “ZoomInfo’s 4.5 million unique monthly visitors will also be able to join XING’s business network directly with a simple two-click process.”

Now, on to the more sensational stuff.  Xing competes with LinkedIn, and the chairman of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, shared his thoughts about the partnership with VentureBeat’s Matt Marshall.  “Zoominfo has scraped 36 million profiles (with lots of duplicates) and used datamining to figure out email addresses,” Hoffman began.  “Essentially, what this deal does, is allow Xing’s users to send email or call without permission of the people that Zoominfo has scraped…I’m not sure that this is something to crow about.”

Ouch.  While Hoffman’s comments are far from personal insults, business people don’t usually get quite that testy while on the record.  ZoomInfo’s COO responded, however, and kept the exchange from devolving.  Kudos to Bryan Burdick, the COO in question, for remaining civil, even if the alternative would have made for a more exciting story.

ZoomInfo searches for information publicly available on the Web, and simply tags and organizes it so that is more useful for searcher,” paraphrased VentureBeat.  “ZoomInfo doesn’t look behind firefalls [sic] or bot stoppers, and doesn’t license any information from third-parties. . . .  In other words, if your contact information is out there, say on your corporate Web site, it will be in ZoomInfo.”

And there you have it.  This partnership should greatly strengthen Xing’s presence in America (the company is based in Germany), and, of course, ZoomInfo also stands to benefit.