Infer, a company that delivers data-powered business applications inspired by the consumer Web, has closed $10 million in Series A funding led by Redpoint Ventures, with Andreessen Horowitz, Social+Capital Partnership, Sutter Hill Ventures, and several other angel investors also participating in the round. Infer will use the funds to grow its team of engineers and scientists and to deliver and apply its solution to more companies and customer intelligence problems.
Infer's solutions mine the historical customer won/lost records sitting in companies' sales and marketing databases, pull in hundreds of valuable signals from untapped Web sources, and build statistical models that identify customers with the highest propensity to buy. This approach leverages advanced information retrieval and machine learning algorithms to model customer data, along with company financials, social media presence, job listings, legal filings, and other external information.
"While the sales and marketing automation markets have been strong over the last several years, automation is not enough," said Satish Dharmaraj, partner at Redpoint Ventures, in a statement. "The much larger opportunity is to bring enterprises deep data science wrapped up in simple application services that anyone can use. Infer's world-class team is bringing Web search, machine learning, and personalization smarts from places like Google, using it to harness enterprises' untapped big data for the first time, and gleaning amazing top-line value for its customers. This is a rocketship."
Infer's founding team is led by CEO Vik Singh, who helped create the open search platform Yahoo! BOSS. The company's technology leadership includes co-founders Yang Zhang, an ex-Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and MIT researcher, and Chung Wu, who was formerly the front-end tech lead of Google's Public Data project.
"When my co-founders and I set out to create Infer, we were shocked by how poorly even the biggest, most innovative companies manage and act on their own internal data, especially given the amazing advances we've seen in the data science used for the consumer Web," Singh said in a statement "For example, there's way more intelligence being applied in Facebook's newsfeed telling you that your friends are getting drinks across the street than there is in helping companies make critical decisions that could have serious consequences like massive layoffs. It's time for a change. We intend to bring the product thinking and data intelligence of the consumer space to the enterprise, and deliver data science applications that solve real problems and just work seamlessly in existing workflows."