So, you're building a technology startup -- and you need some seed money, angel investor dollars or venture capital. One way to potentially attract those dollars more easily? Put the terms big data or analytics in your mission statement. Indeed, in a data-driven world all roads now lead to entrepreneurs who bring facts and figures to the table -- rather than gut instincts.
Ironically, I've always been more of an "instinct" guy -- leaning heavily on my market experience and anecdotal conversations with readers and customers to figure out where markets are heading next. After Nines Inc. CEO Amy Katz, my business partner, is similar in approach. But over the past few months or so, I've finally opened my mind to data-driven decisions (Amy was ahead of me on this.)
Admittedly, I'm a bit late to the game. Most of the tech industry's startups have some sort of data or analytics expertise -- even if they don't focus specifically on those markets.
New Funding: What The Data Reveals
An anecdotal proof point: In recent days, the following eight companies received funding. They're headquartered in different regions and focus on different customer segments. But their two common denominators are technology and data expertise.
1. Deep Information Sciences (Boston, Mass.), focused on turbo charging MySQL databases, has raised roughly $8 million. Check out our podcast with CEO Les Yetton describing the company strategy (Episode 33). MySQL, of course, is the foundation for many of the world's top performing, data-intensive websites.
2. New Signature (Washington, D.C.), focused on Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM cloud services, raised $35 million from Columbia Capital. Azure is rapidly becoming a big data platform, and Dynamics CRM is all about analytics -- stats on customer engagement -- at the end of the day.
3. OpenFin (New York and London), which allows banks to run HTML5 apps on secure desktops, raised $3 million from multiple backers. Bankers and reliable, secure data. Need I say more?
4. Perseus (New York), focused on managed connectivity services, raised $20.5 million from Goldman Sachs. Take a closer look, and you'll notice that Perseus offers Raw Market Data services in the financial market.
5. Raise Labs Inc. (San Francisco), focused on micro-scholarships for high school kids heading to college, raised $4.5 million in Series A funding led by Owl Ventures. Ultimately, Raise Labs is a mashup of two data-intensive communities -- lots of scholarships and lots of eager parents who want money for their kids' college careers.
6. Scalyr (Grandville, Mich.), focused on log management solutions, raised $2.1 million in seed funding led by Susa Ventures. Log management is one of the most data-intensive applications in iT.
7. SimpliLearn (San Francisco), which provides online certification courses in big data, Python, Android and more, raised $15 million in Series C funding led by Mayfair. Courses on big data. Imagine that.
8. Swirl Networks (Boston), which makes an indoor beacon mobile marketing platform, raised $18 million from multiple backers. Tracking, engaging and rewarding mobile shoppers as they move about stores and malls is set to become one of the biggest analytics applications on the planet.
Let's Get Analytical
Still skeptical of big data and analytics for the masses? Think of it this way: Just about every app launched on the web or in an app store now features some sort of analytics component to track user activity, monetization, customer engagement, etc.
As a startup, your analytics activity should be mentioned somewhere in your mission statement -- without overstating your capabilities, of course.
I look forward to tracking how many readers visit this web page, where you came from, how long you stayed, and where you headed next after your visit... Yes, After Nines Inc. is pretty obsessed with analytics. But we also continue to follow our hearts, our gut instincts, and guidance from some trusted sources who always seem to tell us what's next in the IT industry...
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