WSJ Blog, Ben Rooney, July 11, 2011
If Web 3.0 is about big data, then DataSift will surely be among the next generation of companies. The organization, which is most visibly the company behind TweetMeme, has today secured $6 million in funding.
DataSift describes itself as "a real-time social-data mining platform"; translated into English it means it takes a number of social data sources, including Twitter (DataSift is one of only two companies globally licensed by Twitter to re--syndicate its content), Facebook, WordPress and others and allows users to mine that data in a highly granular way.
The company, founded by Nick Halstead and based in Reading, U.K., some four years ago, was behind early news aggregators like Favor.it and TweetMeme, the re-tweet service seen across the web. It was the experience from that which allowed him to build DataSift.
"Almost from the day that we launched TweetMeme, I asked myself if a B2C news aggregator was going to sell for $1 billion. The answer was obviously no."
Investor Mark Suster of GRP Partners who co-lead the $6 million investment with Roger Ehrenberg at IA Ventures, wrote enthusiastically about the acquisition on his blog and on the significance of Twitter compared to other social networks (in essence it is open and asymmetric).