data.world Launches with $14 Million in Venture Funding

The team behind data.world

The team behind data.world, photo courtesy of the company

The world is awash in data.

Yet only a tiny amount – less than one percent – of all the data that gets collected and stored is ever analyzed, according to an IDC report.

An Austin-based startup, data.world, led by serial entrepreneur Brett Hurt, officially launched Monday with $14 million in venture funding, with the goal of making it fast and easy to find and use data to solve problems.

That’s a monumental task, but Hurt, founder of Bazaarvoice and three former HomeAway executives, are focused on building a platform for data that will make it easy to access, collaborate and share.

“Open data, which is data that can be freely used, modified, and shared by anyone for any purpose, is shaping up to be one of the most important forces impacting humanity today,” Hurt, co-founder and CEO of data.world, said in a news release. “This movement can speed our cure for cancer, help keep governments accountable, curtail climate change, and positively impact other important world issues. We’ve built data.world to facilitate these breakthroughs – by allowing professional and amateur data scientists, analysts, and researchers to instantly find, use, and share data.”

data.world received its Series A funding from lead investor, Shasta Ventures with participation from Capital Factory, Chicago Ventures, Floodgate, FYRFLY Venture Partners, Homebrew, Lead Edge Capital, LiveOak Venture Partners, and Rothenberg Ventures.

data.world_vert-color-500 (2)Several angel investors also participated including Clayton Christopher, Founder of CAVU Ventures, Sweet Leaf Tea, and Deep Eddy Vodka; Herb Simon, chairman emeritus of Simon Property Group and owner of the Indiana Pacers; John Mackey, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Whole Foods; Matt O’Hayer, founder and CEO of Vital Farms; Josh Kopelman, Co-founder of First Round Capital; Philip Berber, co-founder of A Glimmer of Hope and founder and CEO of Enable Impact; and Ralph Mack, CEO of Mack Capital.

“Once every two or three years, you see a company and idea that could be hugely transformational,” Jason Pressman, Partner at Shasta Ventures and data.world board of directors member, said in a news release. “data.world has the potential to re-define what we think is possible in our lifetimes and create massive value for society.”

The data world platform will be available starting today to select users.

In addition to Hurt, who founded Coremetrics and Bazaarvoice, three former HomeAway executives are also founders. They include Bryon Jacob, co-founder and chief technology officer, who formerly worked as prinicipal architect at HomeAway and also worked at Amazon and Trilogy. The other co-founders are Matt Laessig, chief operating officer, former executive at HomeAway and Bazaarvoice and Jon Loyens, chief product officer, and former vice president of engineering at HomeAway.

A few years ago, another Austin-startup, Infochimps, sought to tackle the same problem of making data sets easily accessible online. CSC bought that company in 2013.

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