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DataSift founder secures $3 million for new venture

InfoSum, a new UK company founded by DataSift founder Nick Halstead, today announced that it has it has secured $3 million in series seed financing from US investors Upfront Ventures and IA Ventures. The company will invest the capital into product development, transforming its vision of connecting and analysing businesses’ disparate datasets into a reality.

Organisations worldwide are currently struggling to cope with the numerous challenges associated with storing information on their customers. The key issues with holding such data include security, the sheer volume of information that has to be stored and analysed, and maintaining the privacy of individuals while enabling the data to be processed effectively. Without the ability to process and connect the numerous pools of consumer data available to them, organisations are failing to gain real business value from the wealth of information now out there.

InfoSum recognises that businesses have silos of information on customers and prospects locked away in different departments that cannot be combined in a privacy-safe way. It solves this issue by aggregating the data and ensuring no personally identifiable information (PII) is available. In addition, InfoSum’s service will enable different companies to join forces and combine two completely different datasets in order to identify key trends and insights into the behaviour of customers and prospects. For example, a financial services provider has access to spending behaviour data and a retailer has information on purchasing patterns. By combining the two sets of data in an anonymous and aggregated manner, both companies can gain insight into the demographics of high spending groups, what products are proving most popular, when purchases are most likely to be made and more.

“Companies need a whole new way to safely store, share and examine consumer information while maintaining the security and privacy requirements of new legislation being introduced in Europe,” 

said Nick Halstead, CEO and founder of InfoSum. “Our service will enable businesses to gain far more value from the datasets they have available and enable companies to work together to gain a greater understanding of the groups that they’re targeting without compromising privacy and security. By bringing together datasets with InfoSum, industries such as healthcare and government, can benefit from deeper analytics without accessing information on individuals.”

"Nick is amongst the smartest thinkers I know dealing with large datasets in real-time and with privacy. Given a chance to work together again, my answer was 'absolutely' even before asking what his company would do," 

said Mark Suster, Managing Partner of Upfront Ventures.

“I’ve worked with Nick on solving complex data problems for more than six years. He is a true visionary in the fields of ETL, data normalisation, real-time data streams and data privacy, and I’m excited to be his partner once again,”

 said Roger Ehrenberg, Managing Partner of IA Ventures.

About Upfront Ventures

Upfront Ventures is a Los Angeles-based venture capital firm focused on investments in early stage technology companies. Since 1996, the firm has invested more than $1 billion in companies such as Maker Studios, TrueCar, and Overture.

About IA Ventures

IA Ventures is a NYC-based seed stage venture capital firm focused on creating competitive advantage through data. Founded in 2009, the firm manages $315 million in committed capital across three funds, and seeded companies including Digital Ocean, Simple, The Trade Desk, Transferwise, Vectra Networks and x.ai.