DataSift collects Scale Venture Partners as equity backer as it shifts up a gear

A $15 million (£9.4 million) Series B funding round for DataSift has seen the business take its total fundraising to date to $29.7 million.

Scale Venture Partners has led a funding round into DataSift, a social media platform based in the UK.

The Reading-headquartered firm has raised $15 million (£9.4 million), with contributions also coming from current investors GRP Partners, IA Ventures as well as new backers Northgate Capital and Daher Capita.

DataSift’s new cash will be used to obtain what the business calls ‘market leadership’.

The business’s funding efforts began in January when it raised $1.5 million of seed investment through David Richmond. It then followed this up with a split Series A round netting it $6 million in July 2011 and $7.2 million in April 2012.

Speaking to GrowthBusiness, Nick Halstead, founder and CTO of DataSift, says that locating the business in Reading has meant access to some of the best engineering talent he could have hoped for.

‘In some ways, it is better than Silicon Valley where you have to compete for talent with hundreds of other companies. We also benefit from having a close relationship with Reading University. Thames Valley might not be as sexy as Shoreditch, but it is where big problems are solved and money is made,’ he says.

The funding comes a year after Halstead relinquished his position as chief executive of DataSift, in an effort to better the business.

‘I stepped down as CEO last year when we launched our first product. When you are building a company like DataSift there is no place for egos, and we needed someone who can be close to our customers, most of which are in the States. It also allows me to do what I love the most — coding and building products,’ he explains.

‘We have the world’s best infrastructure in real-time, as well as historical processing of social data, and through our Series B funding, we now have the ability to take that infrastructure to the next level.’

As part of the funding round, Rory O’Driscoll, managing partner with Scale Venture Partners, will join the board of DataSift.

The social network, which allows enterprises and entrepreneurs to scour the social web for insights from conversations, says that it was in the position to ‘proactively select’ Scale Venture Partners as the company’s new backer.

O’Driscoll and the California-based venture capital firm ‘blew us away’ with its deep understanding of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and the emerging use of social in the enterprise, says DataSift CEO Rob Bailey.

As well as its headquarters in Reading, DataSift also has offices in San Francisco, New York and Chicago.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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