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Stephen Purpura
Stephen Purpura

Context Relevant CEO Stephen Purpura has stepped down from the heavily-funded big data analytics startup that he founded three years ago, GeekWire has learned.

“Stephen has done a tremendous job creating the company and building it to this point as CEO, and the board is extremely grateful for his many contributions,” according to a statement from Tim Porter, a board member and venture capitalist at Madrona Venture Group.

As a result of the transition, Chris Kelley — a venture capitalist at Context Relevant backer Formation 8 — has been named CEO of the Seattle-based company.

“Context Relevant is now evolving to the next phase of its tremendous growth, and Chris will work with the outstanding team to build on the momentum the company has seen in the financial services market for cutting edge predictive analytics and security solutions that change how business is done,” Porter said in his statement.

Chris Kelley
Chris Kelley

Purpura responded to an email request for comment saying that he could speak later this month, while Porter declined to comment further on the transition. Purpura will remain involved in the company, and continue to serve on the board.

Context Relevant raised $13.5 million in venture funding last year, bringing total funding to $42 million. Backers include Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Formation 8, Madrona, New York Life and Bloomberg Beta.

At the time of that financing round, the company also hired former U.S. anti-terrorism chief Richard Clarke to help expand its lineup of security products to help financial institutions mitigate threats.

“We worked really hard to put ourselves in a position where it would be possible to have a huge outcome and build a huge company based in Seattle,” Purpura said at the time of the financing. “Everyday is about execution, at this point. We have taken away a bunch of the risk with the business model, and whether the technology works.”

Context Relevant’s clients include Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, both of which use the data science technologies to offer better recommendations to clients about what products to buy.

Kelley, an aerospace engineer by training, previously worked at Palantir Technologies and Skybox Imaging prior to joining San Francisco-based Formation 8.

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