New Fund Ready to Back Big Data Startups


Alexandra Stevenson of The New York Times reports, "You may not admit that you want to watch 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey,' but Netflix knows you do. Using algorithms that use search data to predict what television shows people want to watch is one way in which companies are using Big Data to connect the dots. It’s captured the imagination of some of Silicon Valley’s most well-known venture capitalists, who have committed more than $10 million to a new early stage fund to help foster start-ups that analyze behavioral data to determine patterns and make predictions about social behavior."

She continues, "The fund, called Big Data Elite, is backed by celebrity investors like Ron Conway, one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent angel investors, and Andreessen Horowitz, the $2.5 billion venture capitalist firm, as well as Social+Capital Partnership and Anand Rajaraman, whose social media start-up was bought by Wal-Mart Stores in 2011. In an announcement on Thursday, Big Data Elite described itself as a venture lab and early stage fund that will offer a six-month program beginning January 2014. The fund will choose 10 start-ups or individuals from a list of 20. Those chosen will work a Big Data Elite’s offices in San Francisco and will have access to advisers who work at Facebook, Zynga, Netflix, LinkedIn, Riot Games and a handful of other companies that rely heavily on data analysis. The co-founders, Stamos Venios and Tasso Argyros, the founder of Aster Data, said they wanted to build a bridge between Big Data entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley’s investor community."

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