Startups Mining New Data Sources for Investors


CB Insights:

The proliferation of mobile devices, low-cost sensors, and technologies like AI-assisted image-processing have led to an explosion of new and potential data sources. Hedge funds and other investors see value in these non-traditional datasets to mine predictive insights, which might put them ahead of the rest of the pack.

  • Satellite Data – These are companies that utilize image data from orbiting satellites to do things like measure the number of cars in Walmart parking lots or farm health based on the color of crops.
    Select Companies: Orbital Insight, Rezatec, Windward
  • Web/App/Social Media Data – These are companies which mine social media or use data firehoses from the web/mobile to understand what’s happening in the world or how people are interacting with their devices.
    Select Companies: Dataminr, App Annie, 7ParkData
  • Weather Data – These are companies which are developing weather models and utilizing more sensors to get better localized data or improve weather forecasting.
    Select Companies: Aclima, Understory
  • Location/Foot Traffic Data – Companies that use different means to understand where consumers are going by measuring foot traffic via check-ins, video analysis, etc.
    Select Companies:  Foursquare, Placemeter, Placed
  • Alternative Credit – Companies developing new credit models that utilize sources of alternative data (like mobile usage).
    Select Companies: Cignifi, First Access, FactorTrust
  • Credit Card Transactions – These are companies that use anonymous aggregate transaction data to understand trends in consumer purchasing habits.
    Select Companies: Earnest, Second Measure
  • Alternative Data Monetizers/Aggregators – These are companies who pay for access to individual data streams which become more valuable in a bundle, and then sell those packages to investors.
    Select Companies: Eagle Alpha, Quanton Data, Discern
  • Local Prices – These companies can see what’s happening to prices and inflation by aggregating data from ground-level sources.
    Select Companies: Premise