Why We Invested in Explorium

Data is eating the world

We continuously hear about the rise of data and how it will change the way organizations make decisions and/or leverage it to create an advantage for themselves. But the truth is that we’re still at the very beginning of the 21st century data revolution.

We’ve been seeing great progress in the last five years, particularly with organizations trying to become data driven. Most of them were focused on getting machine learning up and running.

ML algorithms are commoditized, data is the differentiator

As a result, open source and software companies for predictive analytics or personalization services have become increasingly commoditized. What has been left behind, though, is the data itself. Absurdly, any data scientist will tell you that the value is increasingly more about the data, not the software.

Consider Google, a disruptive company, but no longer primarily because of its software — it’s the company’s ability to use the data its customers produce to extend the customers’ engagement. Its software is increasingly being commoditized; both navigation software and recommendation engines are no longer trade secrets, as they exist in open source. Customer data has proved itself immutable as it comes more clearly into focus through interactive application usage.

The power of external data

In recent years, organizations were focused on collecting massive amounts of internal data, but no matter how much of it they have, it still presents only the inside picture without the right external data,

Over the last 10 years, the amount of data created, captured and consumed increased almost 5,000%, and the amount of data created over the next three years will be more than the data created over the past 30. As a result, there is a large number of external data signals that could possibly discover the real drivers of a business or help companies to differentiate themselves.

More than ever, companies will need to adapt to all types and formats of external data — closed and open, structured and unstructured — and leverage that data to make their product or service better.

Easier said than done

According to Forbes’s survey, data scientists spend 80% of their time on data preparation. It’s also expensive: Trifecta pegs the collective data prep cost for organizations at $450 billion.

According to Explorium’s research, 78% of US data leaders consider external data very valuable, but most struggle to find the data they need in order to make their advanced analytics or machine learning programs deliver the best results.

If they do manage to acquire the right external data, they struggle to onboard it successfully. Preparing, matching, and integrating external data with BI and ML platforms takes too much time to deliver any real ROI.

Based on countless conversations we’ve had with enterprises, it is even harder than described above.

Meet Explorium

Explorium has built the first end-to-end solution to enterprises’ data dilemma. Its External Data Platform analyzes data models, searches its wide collection of thousands of external data signals, and automatically discovers the most relevant signals to improve analytics and machine learning.

Data scientists and business analysts can quickly enrich their predictive models with external data, benchmark the boost in performance and deploy the models with just a few keystrokes.

Founders have a strong reputation among customers

Explorium was founded by Maor Shlomo (CEO), Or Tamir (COO), and Omer Har (CTO), three entrepreneurs who previously led large-scale data mining and optimization platforms for organizations such as ironSource, Natural Intelligence and the IDF’s elite intelligence unit 8200.

I met Maor and the team in 2018, when they presented a prototype and a big vision of building a big company. I’ve been tracking them since then and introduced them to potential customers who became paying (and very happy) customers.

It was crystal clear that Explorium’s team built a game changer technology that customers love. Also, the feedback about the team is mind blowing:

“Each of the founders is so superb to work with. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a group of such high quality people. I’m not claiming to be the top ML expert, but it’s nice working with people who are smarter than you.”

The big hype is still ahead of us

Since the start of the pandemic, Explorium has doubled its customer base and more than quadrupled revenue. Companies like BlueVine, GlassesUSA.com, Melio and PepsiCo use Explorium to enhance AI models for use cases including lead scoring, identifying default risk and fraud, and upleveling analytics such as demand forecasting and customer lifetime value. And clearly this is just the beginning; we believe Explorium has the potential to be the data and modeling engine behind any business.

We’re thrilled to be backing Explorium, who announced their $75M Series C round

The round was led by Insight Partners, with participation of Vintage Investment Partners, Zeev Ventures, Emerge, F2 Venture Capital, 01 Advisors and Dynamic Loop Capital and yours truly.

Read more about Explorium’s funding round: https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3907924,00.html

At Fort Ross Ventures, our capital, connections and capabilities transform mid and growth stage startups into global leaders. With unparalleled access to major corporate partners, key enterprise customers, and cutting-edge talent across USA, Eastern Europe and Israel we open doors for the companies we invest in and foster opportunities for accelerating growth. If you have questions about our fund, reach out to me at sharin@fortross.vc or visit our website https://www.fortross.vc