Thursday, 15 March 2018
Streetbees raises $12m in Series A funding, led by Atomico, to scale the world’s first real-time global consumer insights platform
- The new funding will allow Streetbees to further develop machine learning technology that reveals how people around the world behave, and why, by analysing real-life moments collected from its users
- Technology helps clients, including Unilever, PepsiCo, BBC World Service and Vodafone, understand communities anywhere in the world and predict future trends
- Funding will also help company grow the London team and launch in the US
Streetbees, the global intelligence platform, has today announced a $12m Series A investment, led by Atomico with participation from all existing investors including LocalGlobe, Octopus and BGF Ventures.
The investment will be used to further develop its core machine learning technology - which transforms the real-time data provided by its global community of users into actionable insights for brands - and launch its first office in the US.
Tugce Bulut, CEO of Streetbees, said: “Human behaviour is too complex to standardise and understand with multiple-choice questions and automated analysis, but this is what most research groups dish up time and time again. International companies need deep insight into unique drivers of human behaviour to be able to understand their customers and grow into new markets. Streetbees, which is backed by some of Europe’s smartest investors, captures the detail within people’s lives at scale and analyses it, helping companies both understand the bigger picture and act like an innovative start-up that has intimate knowledge of local markets.”
Over 1 million users – or ‘bees’ – across 150 countries worldwide use the chat-style Streetbees app to share moments from their daily lives via videos, photos and text, giving as much or as little information as they like. By applying advanced natural language processing technology to the results, Streetbees uncovers not just what they do, but also why they do it, and what drives them – and predicts what they may do next.
As a result, Streetbees’ customers – who include Unilever, PepsiCo, BBC World Service, Vodafone and L’Oreal, and nine out of the world’s ten largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies - receive rich insights into communities anywhere in the world at an unprecedented scale and affordable cost, helping them deeply understand new or unfamiliar markets. Using the Streetbees platform, world-leading brands are able to make more informed and accurate decisions about consumer behaviour, and predict future trends with confidence.
With the new funding, Streetbees will further develop its machine learning technology platform to provide customers with a live stream of information from its users that is constantly being collected across the world. The new platform, called Always On, allows customers to have ongoing access to insights from real-life stories, instead of relying on one-shot multiple-choice surveys to try and understand communities and markets. Already, the results from the platform have identified surprising trends that have gone unspotted elsewhere – such as burgers being served in ice-cream cones.
Carolina Brochado, the Atomico Partner who led the investment, said, “Traditional market research is slow, rigid and expensive, costing brands $44bn globally every year to produce consumer insights that are often woefully out-of-date by the time they are delivered. As consumers we expect an always-on approach to service from the brands we love, yet to date it has been impossible for brands to achieve an always-on approach to understanding their customer’s needs and behaviour. With Streetbees, we have found the world’s first real-time technology-enabled customer insights platform – giving brands dynamic responses, from real customers, for a fraction of the cost and time taken by traditional incumbents. Streetbees has fundamentally changed the way international companies can engage and understand their global consumer base.”
George Henry, Partner at LocalGlobe, said: “As investors who have been involved with Streetbees from the start of its journey, we’ve long been impressed by the founding team. The spread of smartphones, combined with advances in AI that allow data to be captured at scale, create a unique opportunity for a smart company to help brands understand their customers on a much deeper level – and that’s exactly what Streetbees is doing.”
Bruce Enslin, Senior Consumer and Market Insight Manager of Unilever South Africa, said: “Streetbees is an example of a research company appropriate to the times we live in. Streetbees uses technology to help me in my CMI (Consumer & Market Insights) role to bring insights to the business faster, and often cheaper than old methods. These insights are often much more insightful as they come from a combination of quantitative evidence, along with qualitative consumer video evidence. These insights are all easily accessible through a user-friendly dashboard.”
Simon Andrews, Portfolio Director at Octopus Ventures, said: “Understanding your customer has always been mission critical for a business, but Streetbees stands alone in providing meaningful insight at a time when global brands are struggling to connect with consumers after decades of relying on sterile dialogue between sample groups and pollsters. We’ve been hugely impressed with the Streetbees team since we first started working together – not least in the leadership team’s vision and commitment to scaling the business globally – and are delighted to be supporting the team as it embarks on the next phase of growth.”
Simon Calver, head of BGF Ventures said: “Streetbees has found a new way to put the world's biggest brands directly in touch with consumers and having led Streetbees' last round, we are really excited to see Streetbees pushing its machine learning technology further, and are delighted to be able to support this fast-growing business again.”
The funding will also allow Streetbees, which currently employs 75 people at its London headquarters and in Lisbon, to expand its data science team, develop its community networks across the world, and grow in the US, where the company opened an office in January 2018.
Streetbees’ mission is to make human data accessible, anywhere in the world. Through providing better information that contains real insight into how people behave, the company hopes to make data collection mutually beneficial for companies and global communities by facilitating economic development in areas that have previously been under-served due to lack of market intelligence and visibility.
Ms Bulut said: “Companies fail to invest in the developing world time and again because they don’t understand the market, as they either can’t find the information they need, or they don’t trust what they have. By giving them a far better solution that provides local detail and real insight into what people across the world do and why, Streetbees can enable major investment in nations where it might otherwise not occur - potentially fuelling economic growth where it is needed most.”
Streetbees is a London-based global intelligence platform that reveals how people behave, and why, by analysing real-life moments collected from its worldwide users on an always-on basis.
Over 1 million users – or ‘bees’ – across 150 countries worldwide use the chat-style Streetbees app to share moments from their daily lives via videos, photos and text, giving as much or as little information as they like. Through applying advanced natural language processing technology to the results, Streetbees uncovers not just what they do, but also why they do it, and what drives them – and predicts what they may do next.
This allows Streetbees’ customers – who include Unilever, PepsiCo, BBC World Service, Vodafone and L’Oreal – to receive rich insights into communities anywhere in the world at an unprecedented scale and affordable cost, helping them deeply understand new or unfamiliar markets. Using the Streetbees platform, world-leading brands are able to make more informed and accurate decisions about consumer behaviour, and predict future trends with confidence.
Streetbees is backed by some of the planet’s most renowned investors and entrepreneurs, including Atomico, BGF Ventures, LocalGlobe, and Octopus Ventures. Our investors have also backed TransferWise, Zoopla, FarFetch, Graze and Wonga - and founded Innocent drinks.
Norval Scott, Head of Communications, Streetbees
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