nFluence Media, a Seattle and London startup that allows big consumer brands to collect data on users, has raised an additional $1.6 million in venture funding from existing investors such as Voyager Capital and others. Total funding in the startup now stands at about $4.6 million, with venture capitalist Tom Huseby mentioning at an event in Seattle Wednesday that he was impressed with the way Seattle area angel investors rallied behind the concept.
nFluence launched service a year ago, and the 11-person startup now says it can create anonymous consumer-based “interest graphs” in as little as 30 seconds. The company says that its approach generates a more than 10 times improvement in customer response, and puts the end-user in control of how his or her information is used online since it is an opt-in system.
nFluence is currently testing its technology with supermarkets, mobile carriers and credit card firms — all of which are looking to collect data on consumers who use their services. For example, the tool would ask users to quickly choose their preferred brand, say Coke or Pepsi or Home Depot or Lowe’s. From those choices, nFluence makes deductions about the consumer, information that is valuable to the large brands. The company notes that its approach is far better than “invasive behavioral targeting techniques such as data exhaust sniffing.”
“As soon as we could show solid results late last year we were overwhelmed with interest in using our technology,” said CEO Henry Lawson. “We are delighted that our investors have shown such confidence in us as we grow the business and provide the solution the market is seeking – interest graphs that consumers understand, have confidence in and respond to.”
Lawson previously ran marketing technology companies Interep and Donovan Data Systems. He’s joined on the team by Brian Roundtree, a startup veteran in Seattle who previously founded SNAPin Software. That company sold to Nuance Communications for $224 million in 2008.