DataSift raises $15 million in Series B funding

Twitter data organization tool has now raised over $30 million since 2011 launch

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
November 13, 2012
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DataSift, the  social data platform company that enables enterprises and entrepreneurs to aggregate, filter and extract insights from the billions of public social conversations on Twitter, has raised $15 million in Series B funding, it was announced Tuesday.

The round was led by Scale Venture Partners, with participation from DataSift’s previous investors GRP Partners and IA Ventures, along with new investors Northgate Capital and Daher Capital.

With this new funding, DataSift has gathered together more than $30. Its most recent fundraising, prior to the round, was $7.2 million from GRP Partners and IA Ventures in May.

It was also announced that Rory O'Driscoll, Managing Director with ScaleVP, will be joining the board of directors at DataSift.

“We have the world’s best infrastructure in real-time, as well as historical processing of social data, and through our Series B funding, we now have the ability to take that infrastructure to the next level,” DataSift founder and CTO Nick Halstead said in a statement.

“The promise of the DataSift platform lies in enabling our customers to bring together their private and public data and applying our powerful processing to that unstructured data. The ultimate goal of big data is drawing actionable insights from a combination of public and private data.”

DataSift was founded in November 2010, by CTO Nick Halstead, who also created TweetMeme, the makers of the original "Retweet" button.

After Twitter created its own retweet button, pushing TweetMeme out, Halstead began to focus on the company’s other function: curating and ranking links shared on Twitter based on their popularity. That function eventually became DataSift, which launched in November 2011.

It is a data organization service that helps companies interested in using information from Twitter to better their brand and consumer awareness. Essentially, it analyzes the Twitter firehose and help companies understand what consumers are saying about their brand. 

Here is basically how it works:

Let’s say that a client or company that wants to track a particular trend or discussion topic through Twitter would create an account with DataSift under one of two payment structures:

1. On demand -- where the user pays for the data that returns from each search and meets the criteria set forth. This pay system would often look like $0.10 per thousand tweets returned.
2. Prepaid package -- where the client chooses the budget that they wish to spend and limit the number of searches they aggregate from.

Depending on the level of difficultly and the magnitude of the searches a company is interested in, either someone within the user's company can manage the searches or a DataSift employee would spearhead the project.

If a company, say Starbucks, is interested in getting feedback about a new special it is running in a particular region, a DataSift search can be created to target certain geographical areas, key search terms and then analyze whether the responses are positive or negative.

Overall reports on the general public sentiment or the amount of feedback for a given search can be found in mere moments and then, if the client is so inclined, they can dig deeper and look at each individual response or organize them based on gender or location or the level of influence they have on Twitter.

San Francisco-based DataSift has been seeing some very impressive growth.

The company says that it now has almost 300 corporate customers, up from 200 just a quarter ago. Its customers include Fortune 500 and social technology companies, news organizations, consulting companies, and government agencies.

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Description: DataSift Inc. is a social data platform company, enabling enterprises and entrepreneurs to aggregate, filter and extract insights from th...

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