HG Data, a company that takes a big-data approach in providing salespeople with lists of potential leads on enterprise technology customers, has raised $2 million in venture funding. Epic Ventures led the round, which brings the total capital raised to around $3.5 million.
The company’s approach aims at disrupting the business of legacy IT market information vendors such as IDG and TechTarget, which count on employees to conduct phone surveys with IT people and generate statistics and reports. HG Data uses machine learning to update databases based on information that is or was available to the public and unstructured data from press releases, case studies, white papers and other documents. Customers can buy slices of the cleaned-up databases that HG Data keeps on its public cloud. For example, customers can drill down to see which companies use the 2000, 2003, 2007 and 2010 editions of the Microsoft Exchange.
HG Data stands out from other data-focused IT market data providers, such as DiscoverOrg, iProfile and RainKing, because of the granular detail on the specific products used at enterprises, CEO Craig Harris said. The company has signed up around 50 customers, including Fortune 100 tech companies and marketing companies such as Harte-Hanks, Harris said. Use cases include identifying the best venues to place ads that target users of certain enterprise software and hardware and pitch them on an alternative. Looking forward, Harris said the company will enter other markets.
If HG Data can gain more traction while adding support for other industries and in other countries, the company could more quickly turn lead generation into yet another business function that’s done best with computers storing and processing information in the cloud. For now, though, old-school practices still play a role in lead generation.
Data scientists, chief technology officers and founders will take the stage to discuss myriad use cases for data science at GigaOM’s Structure:Data conference in New York next week.