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DataFox Beta Launch

Our founders came together at Stanford in 2013 after working in enterprise software, artificial intelligence, business intelligence, and growth equity. We started building DataFox so analysts like us could focus on meaningful analysis – not copying and pasting.

Today we're thrilled to launch the fruits of 18 months of labor: a matrix of algorithms that collect information from public and private sources and deliver it right when you need it. We call this predictive intelligence.

Join thousands of investors, bankers, business development professionals, and other technology analysts already using DataFox to stop wasting time on data collection, and focus instead on analysis and decision-making.

What’s new in this Beta?

  1. A Real-Time Events Feed that Replaces an Analyst
  2. The Best Prospecting Tool Ever
  3. Create and Curate Lists Together

(1) A Real-Time Events Feed that Replaces an Analyst

Why? Analysts spend hundreds of hours a month poring over news, filings, and other content to pick out the few data-points that matter to their portfolio or pipeline.

 

DataFox has developed a matrix of algorithms that mine millions of pieces of open-ended content (news articles, press releases, company websites, & more) and recognize – as a human analyst would – key pieces of company information such as a headcount, financials, personnel changes, funding, M&A, and more. Our data quality team verifies the accuracy of these data points, thereby training our algorithms and making them even smarter.

DataFox finds a new headcount estimate and links directly to the source:

An acquisition event and price are identified, and the user can click through to all nine source articles.

A company’s valuation is pulled out of an article into our database, the user is notified.

As clients manage their portfolios and pipelines using DataFox Lists, our algorithms predict which data-points are of interest to each client and deliver them accordingly. Examples:

I’m tracking Square - DataFox notifies me that SumUp, a similar company, raised capital.

DataFox notifies me that Intuit, one of my key customers, has made an acquisition - I should reach out to my contact there.

Question: Does this mean that DataFox replaces an analyst?   Answer: Yes, we believe it does, because tech investors and professionals currently spend hundreds of hours a month absorbing the fire hose of news, media, and other info to make sure they don’t miss anything. DataFox automates this capture and filtration process.

 

 

 

 

 

(2) The Best Prospecting Tool Ever

Why? Sector taxonomy is fundamentally broken, so investors and acquirers aren’t finding their targets efficiently, if at all. The government doesn’t know how to classify companies (SIC and NAICS codes are useless), and companies themselves don’t know either.

 

DataFox has fixed taxonomy once and for all. We mathematically place over 400,000 companies into mutually exclusive categories according to keywords captured from their websites, press releases, and other sources.

First: find keywords describing a company. These can come from many different sources but must be filtered for relevance.

Then: using a training set of pre-categorized companies, apply our SVM classifier (artificial intelligence) to create partitions separating over 400,000 companies.

As a result, our clients can search for prospects using either sector categories or keywords (or both). We go the extra mile in user-friendliness – our algorithm suggests similar keywords you might want to include but didn’t think of. This is a major and refreshing departure from the stodgy company databases that have been the status quo for so long.

This client is searching for companies similar to Airbnb. Accordingly, the sector has been set to “Travel & Hospitality”, combined with a keyword search for “peer to peer.” DataFox recognizes similar concepts and suggests that “sharing economy,” “collaborative consumption,” and “p2p” be added. Adopting these suggestions doubles the number of results from 35 to 69.

Question: Wouldn’t this be useful for reporters and other media professionals as well?  Answer: Absolutely. We offer complimentary accounts to the media, non-profits, and academic institutions. Just send an email to info@datafox.co for more information.

 

 

 

 

(3) Create and Curate Lists Together

Why? Investors, bankers, BD professionals, and strategists are incredibly busy and often on-the-go – they hate keeping lists updated and manually entering data in their CRM.

 

Instead of manually entering data in their trackers (whether Excel or Salesforce), our customers can now track and manage their pipelines inside their data provider: DataFox.

Users can share lists within their teams, add new leads, remove old ones, and add important comments. The UX is just like Excel, which could probably be the greatest financial tool of all time were it not for the frustration caused by instantly stale data inherent in every spreadsheet. With DataFox, data stays up to date while you can continue to manipulate fields as you’re used to.

This client just added Mike as a collaborator. This business development team can work together more seamlessly than ever before to create a high quality list of companies in the lending space. Any collaborator can add notes, while other data-points are automatically fed into the table and kept up-to-date.

Many of our algorithms come together to culminate in the suggestion of additional leads or similar companies that your team should pursue, based on mathematical similarity to the companies already on your list.

This list of comps is automatically generated . Every time you decide to add a company to your list or strike it from the list of suggestions, DataFox’s algorithm becomes smarter.

Two other key features our customers asked for...

(4) Scoring a Company (Does It Actually Work?)

Why? Efforts to quantify private companies’ growth prospects have been rudimentary (including our own, until now). The main challenges are a) scarcity of underlying data and b) ineffectiveness of simple weighted formulas.

 

DataFox’s Stanford-trained data science team has taken a new approach to scoring:

  1. Designate large training sets of (i) successful and (ii) unsuccessful companies.
  2. Test various models (linear, quadratic, logarithmic) to see which one fits best using the features (variables) that we capture.
  3. On individual features we used various functions depending on the feature type (i.e. log of the log, square and cube roots).
  4. We could then apply various machine learning algorithms to find the optimal weightings of the features, given the training sets.
  5. On each iteration across feature sets, we changed both the functions & the variables, measuring the variance to evaluate the algorithms’ performance for subsequent iterations.

We end up with a multi-dimensional “line of best fit” that scores 400,000+ companies on three different outcomes:

  • Human Resources: how strong is the team?
  • Growth: is the company likely to experience revenue growth in the next few years?
  • Influence: how impactful is the company’s online presence?

Each score has different training sets and optimizes around different features, as they should. This allows our customers to get a quick sense of the strongest companies within an area of interest.

By scoring companies on various measures (in this case among “lending” companies), we find different leaders (i) overall (Think Finance), (ii) in growth prospects (OnDeck) and (iii) in HR quality (Kabbage and ProgresoFinanciero).


(5) Mobile-Friendly Because Our Customers Are On-The-Go

Why? Our mobile-friendly (responsive) site allows our customers to be as effective on the road as they are at their desks.

 

Our mobile site helps our customers:

  • Look up a company “one-pager” before heading into a meeting. Uncover key competitors and recent milestones to address in the meeting.
  • Add a company to a List to research later on.
  • Read the events feed for a company or group of companies… imagine a turbo-charged, real-time, structured Google Alert for investors!
  • Hear about important events as they happen.

Thoughts, ideas, comments or questions?

We'd love to hear from you! Hit us up on Twitter @datafoxco and be sure to follow @datafoxalerts to see the power of our Event Feed.