Kolena’s journey from new idea to closed sales deals and funding in 4 months

An inside look into the very early stages of building an outbound motion.

Result 1
sales meetings booked
Result 2
raised after 4 months of working together
Kolena’s journey from new idea to closed sales deals and funding in 4 months


Kolena is a machine learning (ML) testing platform that allows ML teams to rigorously test their model behavior. With Kolena, ML teams can identify and track failure modes to help engineering, sales, and customers better understand model performance and identify gaps.


When we began working with Kolena, they were starting their outbound motion completely from scratch. They didn't have any customers at the time and were still working on completing their product. Additionally, they needed to close three major deals to raise a seed round, so they needed to move quickly. The competition in their space was growing, and they were targeting a very technical audience (machine learning engineering) who don’t typically like to be pitched.

The Solution

To help Kolena overcome these challenges, we took a targeted and personalized approach. We built targeted campaigns for 5 different industry sectors that Kolena was considering as part of their wider target market. This allowed us to understand the needs of their target audience and tailor our campaigns to specific use cases. As a result, we could iterate quickly to identify where the strongest market need was for what Kolena was building. As part of the segmentation plan, we built a go-to-market strategy to focus on specific market segments, and an expansion plan to build on the first few closed deals.

We also leveraged the founding team's connections with certain target accounts throughout research, and identified top-tier accounts for more personal targeting through email and LinkedIn. We ran several experiments on:

  • machine learning focus
  • company size
  • point of contact
  • level of technical detail
  • the balance of pitching the company versus the founder
  • experimental content

The first campaigns were effective, but we knew there was room for improvement. This led to adding a variety of strategies to our overall go-to-market plan to book more meetings, including video pitches, blog content, and webinars, all embedded as part of each outreach campaign.


As a result, we helped Kolena book 49 meetings for their novel ML testing technology, and we were able to close the target accounts needed to reach their funding target. From there, results only improved with the improvement of Kolena’s product and increased focus on segments where we had found success at first.

“Working with Zevenue was crucial in getting us the deals we needed to close our next round. We had to scale our outbound quickly to meet sales targets - our biggest customer at the time came from a meeting Zevenue set for us." - Mohamed Elgendy, CEO and Founder

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