Announcing Our Series B fundraising Round and What’s Next

Campbell Brown
CEO & Co-Founder

Today we announced our US$22 million Series B to accelerate our growth as we bring demand intelligence to the world. Demand forecasting has come a long way in the last 50 years, but it will transform even more in the next five.

These changes are fuelled by the breathtaking boom in data scientists (30% increase in two years), as the machine learning applications for business continue to rise and rise.

Accurately predicting and preparing for anomalies is the next evolution in demand forecasting and business optimization. The rise of demand intelligence enables radically better forecasting for decisions at scale, creating more profitable businesses, less waste and happier customers. And it is already underway – leading businesses correlate and predict demand to our verified event data across a wide range of industries.

One of the most exciting features of PredictHQ is the sheer number of use cases for demand intelligence that exist both within a business and across industries. We were originally focused on the travel sector but the deluge of demand we experienced broadened our focus – enabling us to sign some of the biggest aviation, accommodation, retail and transport companies in the world.

From providing operational visibility of asset placement to one of the world’s largest scooter companies to labor optimization for one of the world’s largest coffee chains – we have enormous global companies inbounding every week. So when Sutter Hill Ventures, which has backed unicorns such as Nvidia, Pure Storage and Snowflake reached out to us, we knew they had a depth of operational experience to support our growth.

PredictHQ is making demand forecasting smarter

We started our demand intelligence with real-world events because they are high impact and also notoriously hard to track reliably. This is because of the sheer scale of impactful events as well as the many complexities of turning messy event data into reliable demand signals.

Doing this requires thousands of sources of event and entity data, plus the systems to standardize and aggregate this huge disparate and error-riddled data set into verified events you can rank by predicted impact so they become useful for planning.

We know the pain of trying to aggregate events manually firsthand. The genesis for PredictHQ was when Rob Kern and I were working at a global online car rental booking platform. We tried everything we could to get reliable event data we could use to forecast better. We tried every possible raw event feed and many hacked together semi-solutions later, we finally grasped just how formidable a challenge achieving event visibility was. Knowing the investment required to simply create clean data, let alone intelligent data and the huge potential upside for businesses around the world, we built PredictHQ. Our machine-learning powered system now aggregates, verifies and ranks more than half a million new events every month.

Since then, we have been growing our data science team rapidly. Led by the amazing Dr. Xuxu Wang, data scientists and analysts make up almost half our global team. They are constantly refining and adding to our machine-learning capabilities and the PredictHQ knowledge graph, made up of many millions of interconnected entity relationships.

Our API is transforming critical functions at world-leading businesses in transport, accommodation, retail and aviation. For example:

  • Uber and other ridesharing companies use our data to know when and where their demand spikes will take place so they can ensure the right amount of drivers en route, or borrowable vehicles such as bikes and scooters ready to meet demand before it kicks in.

  • Booking.com, Sonder, one of the world’s largest peer-to-peer accommodation marketplaces and more use it to inform their pricing and marketing decisions. HQPlus was able to achieve a 10% RevPar increase with our demand intelligence.

  • Accenture uses our demand intelligence in a model that has enabled one of the world’s largest hotel companies to achieve a 10 point improvement in their arrival/departure forecasting as well as a 25% improvement in their food and beverage forecasting.

  • Retailers such as Domino’s use it for better forecasts that inform their supply chain, inventory levels and workforce optimization. Legion Technologies were able to massively reduce the amount of time they spent manually searching for events by using PredictHQ.

  • Multiple major airlines use our API and features such as Aviation Rank to create more accurate forecasting models.

It’s been a busy first few years for PredictHQ. We’ve only just begun and our vision is to predict the catalyst behind any form of demand.

What’s next

To continue to grow our product and team at the rate required by inbound demand, we are thrilled to welcome Sutter Hill Ventures to the PredictHQ journey as part of our Series B round announced today. You can read more about it on VentureBeat.

SHV, along with our Series A investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and Aspect Ventures/Acrew Capital, have invested US$22 million. Our seed investors such as Rampersand VC also invested again as part of this round.

This funding will enable us to grow strategically at full pace as we develop solid foundations for a huge business. We are building a product that is a must-have, which will be used by thousands of companies. Next up for us is the launch of our correlation and prediction engine, which will turn months of time series modeling into minutes of work for data scientists.

We are excited to be building this from both San Francisco and Auckland, New Zealand. We know it’s possible to build huge enterprise companies from this corner of the world given Atlassian’s brilliant example. We will also be expanding our offices this year to move into new markets.

Why now

We weren’t planning on raising for at least another 12 months. But when SHV approached with deep insight from partners such as Mike Speiser, Sam Pullara and Brian Blond from portfolio companies like Snowflake and Clumio – which are also doing exceptional work with enterprise customers – it was too good a chance to pass up.

I want to take a moment to celebrate the PredictHQ team. This team works so fricken hard and is always willing to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. They constantly come up with great insights, innovations and lateral solutions, which are world class. And most importantly, they look after each other and their families as we grow. One of the highlights of 2019 was watching our San Francisco team grow from 2 to 20+ and forge great relationships with our Auckland team – from embracing (some of) our kiwisms to doing trips together in both Auckland and San Francisco. We are committed to growing a unique culture that combines American ambition with Kiwi empathy and community, and seeing that take shape has been incredibly exciting.

So if this sounds like you, and you are ready for the job of a lifetime, check out our freshly topped-up careers page and get in touch today.