Y Combinator grad DataRank closes seed round for $1.4M

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Feb 03, 2014 11:42 PM EST

DataRank, a Y Combinator alum, has secured $1.4 million for its seed funding round, TechCrunch reported. New Road Ventures led the financing which was also participated in by FundersClub and other angel investors.

DataRank is a service that helps firms monitor the online discussions that have to do with their brands as well as conduct competitive analysis. The startup was formed by Ryan Frazier, Chuong Nguyen and Kenny Cason in October 2011. Its home base in Fayetteville, Arkansas is unusually far from the Valley but has proven to be quite advantageous the firm turned its focus to data tracking for consumer product firms instead of being a financial tool, the report said.

The reason is Walmart, the biggest brick-and-mortar retailer, is found close by in Bentonville. DataRank CEO Frazier said that in the area around Walmart, around 1,400 consumer product firms and their research teams also hold headquarters. He told TechCrunch, "Being able to walk into those places - sitting down, showing them your product and getting immediate feedback, has been immensely helpful."

Despite that, DataRank hopped on Y Combinator so it could grow its Silicon Valley network and get the engineering talent necessary for the firm's expansion. From its workforce composed of 11 members, the startup recently got four additional engineers to the team and now intends to form its sales team, the report said.

DataRank enables companies to track conservations on the web related to their product. These can come from such sources as blogs, forums, reviews from e-commerce stores and social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube. When a company engages the services of DataRank, the firm will get together historical data ranging from six to twelve months and set up the product topics that the client wants to monitor, the report said.

There are around 14 enterprise customers on the DataRank platform. These include Clorox, Callaway Golf and ConAgra Foods, the report said.

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