SpaceCurve founder J. Andrew Rogers has kept a pretty low profile since moving to Seattle from Silicon Valley 13 months ago. But the entrepreneur couldn’t hide that he just raised $1.5 million from Reed Elsevier Ventures and Divergent Ventures. Now, he’s looking to start talking a little bit more about the business.
“We are planning on doing a lot of hiring over the next year, and we are looking at increasing our visibility markedly and actually becoming more of a public-facing company,” said Rogers, the former vice president of geospatial systems at Neopolitan.
What’s SpaceCurve all about? The six-person company is developing technologies that analyze massive data feeds, putting that data in context of one’s location. Examples of how the technology could be used include analysis of weather systems, the Tweet stream or moving vehicles, the latter of which is a problem also being tackled by Kirkland-based Inrix.
The idea for SpaceCurve emerged after Rogers did some research for Google Earth, recognizing that traditional indexing technologies were not designed to handle the massive amounts of data being generated.
“The bottleneck is that you just can’t index (the data) as fast as you are getting it,” Rogers tells GeekWire. “The other (problem) is the scale of the data. There are many data sources that are really cool that generate terabytes or, in some high-end cases petabytes per day, and the ability to build distributed, spacial data models is traditionally something that you can’t do. That was the original use case of this technology.”
SpaceCurve has yet to release a product, with plans to do so some time next year. It plans to sell its data analysis technologies to mobile advertising companies or other data aggregators, basically anyone who is looking for real-time analytics on location data.
Rogers said he decided to move the company to Seattle because of the region’s strong “technical pool.” Because SpaceCurve is trying to solve an extremely complex engineering challenge, he needed strong engineers.
“In Silicon Valley, acquiring a team of those engineers is impossible for a company like ours,” said Rogers. “There are too many sexy, big companies that suck all of the oxygen out of the room. And, unless you are one of those high-profile companies, finding the technical talent that we required was going to be very difficult. Up here, it is not nearly as competitive, and as a result, when we moved up, I found that we could hire the engineers we needed at a reasonable price, primarily by hiring out of many of the big tech companies that are around here.”
Interestingly, that’s the second time we’ve heard that argument this week. Yesterday, we reported on SweetLabs’ new Seattle engineering office, with CTO Mark Chweh making many of the same points.
As a result of the funding, Kevin Ober of Seattle-based Divergent Ventures and Tony Askew of Reed Elsevier have joined the board. Total funding now stands at just over $2.5 million.