Combining old-school consultant skills with analytics software, DataScience of Culver City has convinced investors to give it an additional $22 million, an extension of a $4.5 million Series A round raised in June.
The startup has grown from seven employees in January to almost 50 today, said Chief Executive Ian Swanson. The company was initially focused on providing data analysis for e-commerce and Internet of Things companies, but has expanded to services for mobile app companies, too, added Swanson, such as West Hollywood’s Tinder and Culver City’s Scopely.
DataScience, which was founded last year, specializes in analyzing business-related information on behalf of data-swamped clients. The company’s employees work in ad hoc teams to address client needs, such as calculating the lifetime value of users, finding subscription cancellation patterns and mining customer reviews. For its services, the company charges customers a retainer, starting at $15,000 a month.
Most of DataScience’s clients have in-house data science teams, said Swanson, but use the company’s services to get an extra push.
“We are able to bridge the gap between the business team and the technical team,” he said. “Every one of our customers has data science teams, but those data science teams are at capacity and are not able to answer the questions that the business teams have.”
Some of DataScience’s employees have a background working at consultancies such as Century City’s McKinsey & Co. However, DataScience differentiates from consultancies by integrating closely with clients, instead of being hired on a project basis, explained Swanson.
“Our product allows us to deploy (data analysis) models across customers in a more scalable way,” said Swanson, adding that humans are essential for the remaining work. “I strongly believe you need to have humans involved to connect the dots.”
Combining such human work with the efficiencies of computers is what makes DataScience a potent service, he said.
Using its new funding round, DataScience aims to hire additional data scientists and engineers as well as improve upon the company’s online platform.
The extended Series A investment was led by Whitehart Ventures of Venice. The original Series A round was led by downtown L.A.’s Greycroft Partners. DataScience has raised a total of $28 million.
Data Mining Gold
To chase mobile app makers and digital advertisers’ insatiable hunger for user location data, Factual of Century City has raised a $35 million Series B round.
The company plans to use the funding to boost hiring of sales and marketing people to make a push for rapidly acquiring customers. Also, additional engineering staff will be hired and investments will be made to grow the company’s data sets.
Factual’s location data is used in search engines, digital maps, social networks and digital advertising. Its data includes geographic, business contact, user location, behavioral and demographic information. The company collects information in a variety of ways including submissions from large corporations, automated Web crawling software and information-sharing agreements with mobile apps.
“We have many of the top apps leveraging our data such as Facebook, Bing and Yelp,” said Chief Executive Gil Elbaz. “App developers want their services to be more and more contextualized and customized in order to delight their users with real-world context.”
Factual also sells to mobile app developers and digital ad firms that want to better profile users and then target them with advertisements.
“An app selling ads directly, they want to offer better targeting packages, opposed to something basic like just demographics,” said Elbaz. “We can figure out people who have active lifestyles based on the time they have spent on basketball or tennis courts.”
Institutional investors in the Series B round include Altpoint Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Data Collective, among others. Individual investors Saif Mansour, Michael Ovitz and Tom Unterman also contributed. The company has raised $62 million.
Digital ad exchange Rubicon Project of Playa Vista has added former DreamWorks Studios Vice Chairman Lewis Coleman to its board. Coleman also previously served nine years with DreamWorks in executive positions including president and chief financial officer.
Rubicon runs a digital ad exchange that allows buyers to place their advertisements on dozens of websites at once. Its so-called programmatic software automates the buying of digital advertising so that individual sales don’t have to be made. Advertisers can also use the company’s technology to target specific individuals based on geography or demography. … Efficient Power Conversion Corp. has hired Nick Cataldo as senior vice president of global sales and marketing. Cataldo joins the El Segundo semiconductor manufacturer from United Silicon Carbide Inc., where he was vice president of global sales.
Staff reporter Garrett Reim can be reached at email@example.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 232
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