UK data science and tech company Black Swan grabs Series B funds

UK-based data science and tech company Black Swan Data Ltd has secured 6.2 million pounds in Series B funding. The investors were Albion Ventures, Blackstone and Mitsui.


London 7th July 2016 – Black Swan Data Ltd., the UK’s leading data science and technology company, today announced that it has closed its Series B funding, raising a total of £6.2 million. The round sees Albion Ventures join initial institutional investors Blackstone and Mitsui, to help further accelerate Black Swan’s international growth and expansion of its product platform, ‘The Nest’.

Founded in 2011 by Steve King (CEO) and Hugo Amos (CSO), Black Swan has achieved outstanding growth based on its unique capability of applying big data and predictive data science techniques to consumer marketing. It works with many of the world’s leading consumer-focused brands including PepsiCo, Vodafone, Samsung, Disney and Panasonic, to help them think differently about data, technology, their customers and ultimately their own businesses. The company’s exceptional growth rate of 134% CAGR earned it first place in the Sunday Times Start Up Track 2015 and the company topped the 2016 Sunday Times Export Track 100, being the UK’s SME with the fastest growing international sales.

The additional funding will enable Black Swan to further accelerate the development of its proprietary software platform, ‘The Nest’, which provides deep customer insights by linking publicly available data to a customer’s private data, and complete the build out of its senior management team. It has recently made significant progress in this area with the appointment of Jeff Headley as US Managing Director, previously SVP Personalization at Dunnhumby and Simon Davies as Product Director, previously VP Product Management at DataSift.

The growth of Black Swan comes at a time when consumer interaction with technology continues to increase and evolve giving consumer brands the opportunity to gain a competitive edge by interpreting consumer data to make business changes. According to Gartner, 90% of all data was created in the last two years, 70% of organisations purchase external data and the market for ‘Advanced Analytical Service Providers’ is already worth $16bn. By 2018, over half of large organisations will compete using advanced analytics and proprietary algorithms.

Steve King, CEO and Co-Founder at Black Swan commented: “Black Swan’s seen some phenomenal growth over the last 18 months and this has been reflected in the conversations we’ve been having with investors and clients alike. At the start of the year, it was very straightforward to raise the amount we wanted from Blackstone and Mitsui, but there was an opportunity to add to the round with Albion Ventures to accelerate our plans further.”

Steve continued: “We’re at the forefront of this industry opportunity and we’re working with some of the world’s biggest brands to help them not only make sense of the data around them, but use to gain a competitive advantage and better engage with their audiences. It’s fantastic to have Albion Ventures join our corner, helping us to attract amazing talent like Jeff and Simon, develop and scale our technology quicker and move rapidly to capitalise on the market.”

Ed Lascelles, Partner at Albion Ventures says, “We are thrilled to partner Steve and Hugo through our investment in Black Swan. This is an exciting company, with an outstanding team and high profile customers in a high growth market. Businesses that leverage data intelligently will lead the way and Black Swan has the potential to become the leading provider of automated, predictive analytics to the digital marketing sector.”

Jun-ichi Shibuta, General Manager of IT Platform Div, IT & Communications Business Unit at Mitsui & Co., Ltd. commented: “Mitsui is investing in global business innovation across a variety of key business sectors. We believe that the trend towards predictive data analytics will affect all industries and the way they think about corporate strategy, so it’s logical that utilising big data will become increasingly more important to maintain and strengthen businesses, which is why we’ve collaborated with Black Swan.”
Headquartered in London, Black Swan services its international client base through offices in Bristol, Exeter, Hungary, Los Angeles, New York, Singapore, South Africa and Toronto and currently has over 240 full time employees.

About Black Swan Data Ltd
Black Swan is the UK’s top data science start-up and has been in business since 2011. The company was ranked as the UK’s fastest growing private business in 2015 and in 2016 was named to have the fastest-growing international sales of any UK SME, both by The Sunday Times.

The business proposition is a smart predictive data analytics and activation company providing an array of data driven solutions for prestige brand clients operating in the marketing space, creating insight, activation and efficiencies. Today Black Swan employs 240 people worldwide across offices in the UK, Hungary, USA, Canada, Singapore and South Africa. We work with some of the world’s leading consumer-focused brands including Vodafone, Pepsico, Disney, Panasonic, Tesco, and GSK.

About Albion Ventures
Albion Ventures LLP is a leading venture capital investor, which has been managing investments in small unquoted UK companies since 1996. Albion now manages or provides management services in respect of over £450 million. In addition to six Albion VCTs, it also manages the UCL Technology Fund and provides management services to Albion Community Power PLC.
Albion Ventures is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

About Mitsui & Co,. Ltd
Mitsui (or Mitsui & Co., Ltd) is one of the most diversified and comprehensive trading, investment and service enterprises in the world, with 138 offices in 65 countries as of June, 2016. Utilizing our global operating locations, network and information resources, we are multilaterally pursuing business that ranges from product sales, worldwide logistics and financing, through to the development of major international infrastructure and other projects in the following fields: Iron & Steel Products, Mineral & Metal Resources, Infrastructure Projects, Integrated Transportation Systems, Chemicals, Energy, Food, Food & Retail Management, Healthcare & Service, Consumer Business, IT & Communication Business, Corporate Development Business. Mitsui is actively taking on challenges for global business innovation around the world.