Published on the 09/11/2018 | Written by Heather Wright
Uber, Dominos, Booking.com and US$10m under the belt for Kiwi start-up…
Kiwi data intelligence start-up PredictHQ has closed a deal for US$10 million in series A funding, with one funder saying the company has the potential ‘to do for commerce what Stripe has done for payments’.
The Auckland-based company, which describes itself as a ‘real world events platform’ aims to address the issue of the billions of dollars businesses lose each year because they can’t forecast changes in demand, customer interest and activity – particularly around events.
Born out of global travel group Online Republic, PredictHQ provides a data platform to enable companies including Uber, Dominos and Booking.com to anticipate fluctuations in demand for their products and services by aggregating historical, scheduled and unscheduled event data, factoring in weather, holidays, events, airport delays and natural disasters. The data is then bundled into a single API for customers.
“By understanding the impact of events, we help business respond to customer demand and unlock instant profits hidden in plain sight.”
Uber uses the platform to predict surge pricing and understand how many drivers are needed on the road at any given place and time, while hotels and travel aggregators such as Booking.com use it to optimise pricing, while fast pizza operator Dominos uses it to roster delivery drivers and adjust ingredient stock levels.
The funding was led by Palo Alto-based VC Aspect Ventures (interestingly, something of a rarity in Silicon Valley in that it is a women-owned company, headed by Jennifer Fonstad and Theresia Gouw), with participation from Lightspeed and existing Australian-based investors Rampersand VC and AddVenture Fund.
PredictHQ founder and CEO Campbell Brown, who is Valley-bound as a result of the deal, says the funding will enable the company – which he notes has ‘never been a slow growing company’ and has been global from day one – to scale its team quickly. The company is recruiting for a number of roles across New Zealand and San Francisco including a vice president of sales in the US, and engineer and data analyst roles, with Brown saying they will be hiring ‘many more engineers, data scientists and sales talent’.
“We’re powering predictive commerce,” Brown says. “There are millions of events throughout the world each year that impact specific industries in different ways. Often, there are multiple events in the same place and time creating a perfect storm of demand that no one expected.
“Until now, there has been no central repository of real-world data, let alone any intelligence built on that data to make it accessible and actionable. By understanding the impact of events, PredictHQ helps business respond to customer demand and unlock instant profits that are hidden in plain sight,” he says.
“Businesses have lacked the ability to truly understand how the movement of people across the world impacts revenue, product usage, supply chain and operations,” Gouw says. “PredictHQ solves this problem and is already working with some of the smartest companies in the world.”
Gouw says Aspect Ventures believes PredictHQ’s data platform has the potential ‘to unlock billions of dollars in the global economy and to do for commerce what Stripe has done for payments’.