A message from our CEO: $10M Series A Announcement

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Jim Cassidy, Campbell Brown, Theresia Gouw

$10M to Unlock Data Intelligence and Predict the Future

The team and I are excited to share that we’ve raised US$10M in a Series A funding round led by Aspect Ventures, including Lightspeed and returning investors Rampersand, Addventure and Tony Faure.

PredictHQ has never been a slow-growing company; we’ve been global from day one. But we’re excited to double down on this funding injection and scale our team quickly to tackle the many interesting challenges and opportunities that come with working at the frontier of data intelligence.

We’re thrilled to welcome Theresia Gouw, Aspect Ventures co-founder and former managing partner of Accel, to our Board of Directors. Arif Janmohamed, partner at Lightspeed, will also be joining the team as a Board Observer.

One of the themes we keep hearing in our conversations with investors and customers is that PredictHQ defines a category: we unlock previously-unobtainable intelligence and create world-first IP.

Since we launched our API three years ago, we have relentlessly focused on creating a platform that can handle the dynamic nature of scheduled and unscheduled real-world events. It’s not an easy problem to solve – we know this first-hand – and it’s been confirmed by many of our customers who are some of the smartest and most recognisable businesses in the world, and who attempted to build their own versions before they discovered ours.

Our focus on building a uniquely capable platform forms the foundations for moving into our next phase of value creation for our customers. We have some really exciting product plans in the pipeline, which I’ll share a preview of at the end of this post.

But before we go charging off into the future, I want to take a quick breather and reflect on our journey so far.

Thanks

Getting to this inflection point in the business would not have been possible without the endless hard work from our team, a multitude of people paying it forward, never-ending assistance from our seed investors, partners who backed us early, amazing customers and unwavering support from our family and friends. Thank you.

The origins

The idea for PredictHQ came to me, Rob and Mike when we were working in a global travel group specialising in cruise, car rental and motorhome travel bookings. Every day there would be significant spikes and drop-offs, in locations all over the world. But we could only work out why demand had fluctuated a few weeks after it had happened, when we could trace back the catalysts.

These were almost always real-world events, like the annual meeting of American Society of Hematology when 25,000 healthcare professionals inbounded to San Diego from Japan, Germany and Netherlands. That was a lot of people who needed similar travel bookings all at once, further compounded by other important local events within the same time period including a Fleetwood Mac concert and a Gem Faire-San Diego expo with more than 5,000 attendees at each. We started seeing other multiple catalysts combining at once, such as 70,000 fans attending the semi-final of the UEFA champions league in Munich, which happened to be at the same time as the Bavarian Easter School Holidays, creating a perfect storm of demand.

Retrospective insight is useful, but accurate predictions are even better. We thought to ourselves, “There’s got to be a better way of understanding what creates these anomalies in advance.”

There was, but we had to build it ourselves. Identifying these catalysts before they occur is what PredictHQ does. But while it’s easy to assume that scalable real-world event visibility is straightforward, it’s not. We have learned that it’s fiendishly complicated (which is what makes working here so rewarding). Millions of dynamic events occur every year, their forever-changing locations, dates and frequencies often clustering to create new trajectories of demand and disruption that we’ve never seen before.

Because events are so dynamic, we needed to create accessible event visibility that could scale and have intelligence built into it, which would allow for the construction of predictive models (both for us and our customers). In doing so, we have created data intelligence that gives travel and transport businesses a competitive edge.

The expansion

Travel and transport are multi-billion-dollar industries that obviously need to understand the effects of real-world events on their businesses. But little did we appreciate that real-world events don’t just impact travel and transport businesses; they create a footprint across any form of commerce. When you go to that next conference, sporting event or festival, or have your plans disrupted by severe weather, think about how your consumer behaviour changes both positively and negatively, from booking flights and accommodation, going out for dinner before ordering an Uber, shopping, right through to making an insurance claim.

We realised PredictHQ had applications far beyond travel and transport, into logistics,  hospitality, retail and more. We kept signing up customers, even all the way over in beautiful but isolated New Zealand, where our product team is based. Being so far away from most of the world made us obsessed with hardwiring PredictHQ for global scalability from day one. By the time we launched our San Francisco office, about 18 months ago, we were fielding more demand than even we could have predicted!

What’s next?

Which brings us to today – and this capital raise. Not only do we get to add some great partners to the journey in the form of Aspect Ventures and Lightspeed, these funds will help us expedite our vision by hiring many more engineers, data scientists and sales talent.

Supporting this scale is a clear product road map with some of the key themes being:

More real-world event data

We will continue to invest in the foundational data that has allowed us to create the world’s best single source of intelligent event data. That includes continuing to expand data depth across geographies, and supporting additional use cases with new categories which best serve our customers and reaffirm PredictHQ as a trusted data partner. Whether they’re protests or strike actions, health warnings, entertainment schedules, traffic incidents or our own proprietary data, if a real-world event has impacted a business, we want them to understand the context for this and its predicted impact.

More relevancy for predictions

As our data intelligence capability expands and continues to be adopted by some of the world’s largest brands, so too do the opportunities for creating additional value. This is amplified by the rapid adoption, acceptance and refinement of prediction models across all sectors. Whether you’re delivering pizzas or building the next autonomous vehicle, you need relevant, accurate and trusted intelligence to power the decisions you make.

What impacts the world’s largest on-demand platform is different to what impacts the world’s largest peer-to-peer accommodation platform. That’s why we make sure that businesses can quickly discover which events are most relevant to them, creating sector-specific ranking to better understand how this distinctly impacts them.

More context

Greater context and improving data structure is something we are constantly evolving. Our immediate evolution in this space include two of the most requested features in the last six months:

  1. The ability to correctly handle events that belong under an umbrella event, e.g. a festival as the umbrella event and the individual performances under it
  2. Being able to link recurrences of the same event and their future occurrences so businesses can analyse them, e.g. how demand behaved for the same event in the past and to predict future impact

Improved usability and visibility

Our data and developer community is hugely important to us, so we will continue to listen to their feedback. We’re focused on making it easier to access, implement and derive value from our API. This includes building a new control centre, developing even better documentation, creating new API functions such as notifications, and discovering new ways to access and retrieve our data.

Join our mission

We have a huge opportunity to unlock previously unobtainable intelligence that’s hiding in plain site for businesses right across the world. There are so many exciting and complex projects for excellent technical minds to get stuck into.

We’ve got teams in New Zealand, the United States and Europe who are redefining event visibility as we type. Join our mission and become part of a team that’s building cutting-edge technology and blazing a trail globally. Check out our current open positions.

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1 comment

  1. Scott Tithof Reply

    Congratulations to you and your team on the round, Campbell!