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A startup that spun off from Snap just raised $8 million in seed funding to help tech companies make sense of their customer data

  • Data visualization firm Facet just raised $8 million to help it connect with more cloud data warehouses.
  • Tech giants have poured billions into data viz companies in recent years.
  • Facet originated from the same tech that was used to build out Snap’s data analytics.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Facet, a data visualization startup that spun off from Snap, has raised $8 million in seed funding and named adtech vets Kevin Weatherman and Herman Yang as CEO and chief strategy officer, respectively.

Weatherman led the sale of the mobile ad exchange MoPub to Twitter in 2013 for a reported $350 million and Yang was MoPub’s product exec at the time and later headed up Twitter’s ad exchange.

Harrison Metal led the funding round and Bedrock and Breakpoint Capital participated, along with a handful of angel investors. Snap is also an investor.

Facet plans to use its new funding to staff up and plug into more data warehouses. It’s currently plugged into Snowflake and Google’s BigQuery — two popular warehousing services. Facet can also work with Druid and Pinot, open-source warehouses developed by the nonprofit Apache Software Foundation.

Facet also wants to double its headcount to around 35 over the next 12-18 months, about 65% of which will focus on product and engineering.

Data visualization tools have seen tremendous investment in recent years as brands and publishers take control of their customer information and need to view it in a format they can understand. In 2019, Salesforce bought Tableau for $15.7 billion and Google bought Looker for $2.6 billion.

Facet started as a part of Metamarkets, a company that translated data from multiple adtech sources into a user interface designed for non-data scientists. Weatherman said Twitter used Metamarkets to manage analytics across its billion dollar ad exchange.

In 2017, Snap purchased Metamarkets for under $100 million, got rid of its independent branding, and made it the foundation for its ads data team. 

Facet differs from the old Metamarkets tool and competitors like Imply, Google’s Looker, and Salesforce’s Tableau because it’s a data visualization interface and plugs into the data warehouses of clients who already have their data in the cloud.

Weatherman’s pitch is that this makes it cheaper for clients and also saves time and reduces errors because they don’t have to duplicate the data in their storage facility and send it to a separate one for Facet to access.

Weatherman also believes this business model will protect Facet from competitors, which would have a hard time copying its model.

Right now, Facet is looking to serve adtech, mar tech, and

fintech companies
. It has three live clients: mobile measurement provider Branch Metrics, game developer MobilityWare, and payment company Catch.

“Our ideal client is a customer that is mostly a software product-led company that is doing millions of daily transactions,” Weatherman said.

Eventually, it wants to move beyond B2B companies and work with more consumer-facing companies like DoorDash, which generate tons of data with each customer interaction. 

“Every time you make a delivery, you’re paying the restaurant, you’re paying the driver, you’re paying the state as a per-delivery tax,” Weatherman said. “So you have multiple transactions that you’re dealing with.”

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