PredictHQ's founders did not predict their giant Series B round would happen, but they're not complaining.
The Auckland-based software startup has just closed a US$22 million ($34m) raise, led by Sutter Hill Ventures, with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Aspect Ventures, and Rampersand VC.
PredictHQ, a company that aggregates data sets from myriad events and public holidays to help companies forecast demand for their services, has raised $22 million in a series B round of funding led by Sutter Hill Ventures, with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Aspect Ventures, and Rampersand VC.
The San Francisco-based startup taps myriad sources for data related to concerts, sports, public holidays, and more and then adds in proprietary and “hard to find” data. It throws all of this into a big melting pot, channels it into an API, and licenses it to companies like Uber, Domino’s, Quantas, and Booking.com.
So why is this data so useful? Well, it all comes down to predictive insights — knowing how much demand a service is likely to see. During a major music festival or sports event, for example, Uber often employs surge pricing, a mechanism to manage supply (and make more money) when demand is high. But surge pricing often kicks in with little to no warning, as the pricing mechanism simply reacts to a surge in demand. Knowing when to expect a spike in ride requests could help Uber alert drivers to be at a location at a certain time.
PredictHQ’s secret sauce is the way it combines data. For example, knowing there’s a rock concert on a specific date in San Diego is useful, but adding in the fact that the American Society of Hematology is holding an exposition in the same area on the same day might suggest an even greater demand for rides. Moreover, Uber could tap other independent data sources — including hyper local weather forecasts — to fill in the picture. If a torrential downpour is anticipated as the two major events are about to finish, for example, drivers can be standing by to cash in.