Biz360 transforms available information to help businesses make informed decisions in order to understand and reach their target audiences better. They provide companies with this market research by using technology, analytics and natural language processing (NLP) to sift through large amounts of electronic and traditional media and present the information in flexible, easy-to-use formats.
Biz360’s latest tool, Media Insights, is an automated process which tracks media mentions and picks up and analyzes articles with information about the company’s clients and their products. What sets one market research company apart from another is the analysis of information. Data is widely available on the Internet, but companies need to weed through this data, understand it and provide fresh insights to their clients in an understandable way. That’s where Biz360 is trying to differentiate.
Based in San Mateo, California, Biz360 was founded in 2000 by You Mon Tsang and Nick Halsey, who are now on the board of directors. In 2001, the company obtained an investment of $6.25 million led by Foundation Capital and others, including Granite Ventures, Adobe Ventures and Geneva Venture Partners. In May 2003, after an impressive 184% annual revenue growth, Biz360 received an investment of $10.5 million from BA Venture Partners in Foster City. In May 2008, Biz360 received $10 million in a round led by Foundation Capital with participation from its current investors Granite Ventures and Scale Venture Partners. The New York Times reports that according to peHUB, the firm has raised nearly $50 million. In a recent article on VentureWire, Chief Executive Brad Brodigan refused to divulge revenue figures or a valuation, and it is believed that the company is not yet profitable.
A report on VentureBeat discusses how competitors like Umbria, Buzzmetrics, Telephia Audience Analytics and others have made exits and been acquired, leaving the market research market open for companies with creativity, like Biz360. Clients include AAA, Aetna, Sun Microsystems and Harley Davidson, among others. In January 2008, Biz360 was selected as one of the OnMedia Top 100 Winners, based on criteria including innovation and market potential.
8 years after its inception, the company’s investors must also be anxious for an exit. Likely acquirers could come from the enterprise software world, although that market has gone through massive consolidation, and is now experiencing a queuing effect with a long line of startups and only a few buyers. Besides, with the macro economic conditions, the stock market situation, etc. the M&A market is slow. Deals are taking long to close, if they close at all. Biz360 and others may need to weather several more years.
I said in an earlier post that this year, many venture-funded companies would be in a situation like this – looking for exits, but not finding them – and recommended that several of these companies get together and engineers roll-ups. Biz360 is certainly one that I would put in this category.
This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2008