We are short ZI

ZoomInfo (ZI) is a SaaS provider that supplies its subscribers with detailed information on potential contacts. ZI claims 95+% of the contact information it sells customers is accurate, giving ZI an advantage over its peers.

ZI would like investors to believe that the secret to its success is “proprietary insights” gained from investments in AI, ML, and “human-in-the-loop solutions.” However, the real secret sauce, according to a high-level former employee (“Former Employee A”), is the CEO’s college roommate, a real estate broker by trade, who created SGN Database LLC (“SGN”).

ZI uses SGN as a pass-through entity to obscure its purchase of (reportedly stolen) granular data on millions of LinkedIn users for pennies on the dollar from a shadowy entity called OxyLeads, which came under scrutiny in connection with an enormous data breach of hundreds of millions of user profiles.

Our opinion is based on extensive investigative research, including conversations with three former ZI employees, a current employee of Oxyleads’s successor, Coresignal, and experts with relevant knowledge of the industry. This research has revealed key pieces of evidence that raise significant questions about the legitimacy and legality of ZI’s (secret sauce) data acquisition practices:

Former Employee A, who was a high-level ZI employee with knowledge of the purchase of the OxyLeads data, stated in an interview that ZI used a pass-through entity, SGN, owned by the CEO’s college roommate, a real estate broker by trade, to mask the fact that ZI was purchasing data from OxyLeads.

OxyLeads came under suspicion for illegitimately scraping private data from LinkedIn when 380 million individual profiles belonging to it were found on a publicly accessible server, and those files were reportedly accurate copies of existing LinkedIn profiles. Former Employee A asserted that ZI turned a blind eye when the data it received from OxyLeads appeared to be hacked and scraped off LinkedIn.