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Black Swan Data raises $18.5M from Oxx and AlbionVC as a new age of consumer research dawns


Funding will support further product development and US expansion

London, 30th June 2022: Black Swan Data – the data science and consumer behaviour prediction company – has closed an $18.5M growth fundraise led by Oxx, a venture capital firm that backs Europe’s most promising B2B SaaS companies, with participation from existing investor AlbionVC.

The funding will be invested in developing more advanced features and capabilities in Trendscope, Black Swan’s core software platform, and continuing expansion in the US market. By predicting consumer needs and trends with 89% accuracy rating more than six months into the future, Trendscope enables CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies to develop more relevant innovation ideas and improve their new product launch success rates (often cited as having a >75% failure rate).

Trendscope works by tapping into what millions of consumers are talking about online in public, unpromoted conversations. It continuously analyses this data to map growth opportunities and identify emerging trend signals earlier, and more accurately, than traditional market research approaches. This capability is bringing a more scientific and comprehensive approach to the new product innovation process, helping brands to de-risk decision making in uncertain times when consumer behaviour is rapidly shifting.  

Black Swan’s customers include Danone, Cosnova, J&J, Kraft Heinz, P&G and PepsiCo. Stephan Gans, SVP, Chief Consumer Insights and Analytics Officer at PepsiCo explains how the technology is used: “At PepsiCo, Trendscope has been instrumental in the development of new products and staying ahead of mainstream consumer preferences by monitoring data from Twitter, Reddit, and other online sources. During the pandemic, for example, we saw an increase in conversations and posts about seltzer makers and new flavours in lieu of consumers being able to consume their favourite beverages out of the home. This insight helped PepsiCo prioritise and fast-track the development of new products like Bubly Drops to take advantage of this growing territory.” 

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“Trendscope better enables us to see our categories through the eyes of the consumer and to isolate the emerging trends that will matter tomorrow, versus those that will quickly fade away.”

Black Swan was founded to disrupt the $90bn global market research industry by using AI to unlock insights from the data and content published by consumers online. It’s grown subscription revenues by more than 100% in each of the last three years, and doubled its client base in the last 12 months.

Steve King, CEO and Co-Founder, Black Swan Data said: Over the last two years the market research industry has been turned upside down and legacy methods that CPG companies have stuck with for decades became unviable, literally overnight. Believe me, more than anyone, we realise the irony of not predicting that particular black swan event, but the adoption of AI-driven observational research and predictive analytics has accelerated dramatically and this is reflected in the growth of our business. This latest round of funding will allow us to build upon the growth of the last year and significantly invest in our core product, Trendscope, bringing customers new features and usability that enable them to create reliably relevant new products and shape a modern marketing innovation process for the future, particularly at a time when brands need a cost-effective way of continuous product innovation.” 

We’re excited to partner with new investors Oxx, and are hugely grateful for the continued support of our existing investors AlbionVC.” 

Philip Edmondson-Jones, Principal at Oxx, who joins the company’s board said: Black Swan Data sits at the top of the new product innovation process and revolutionises consumer research for global CPG brands. Its Trendscope platform gathers unstructured data from disparate sources, and refines this using proprietary AI technology, to provide both granular and statistically accurate predictions. It’s increasingly becoming the backbone of the consumer insights tech-stack, at a crucial time of change and challenges in the CPG industry. The business has made incredible progress over the last few years, and we at Oxx are delighted to be backing Steve, Hugo and the rest of their excellent team to extend Trendscope’s functionality and expand the business even further into the US market.

Ed Lascelles, Partner at AlbionVC commented: “We are delighted to continue supporting Black Swan in this round. It has been wonderful to see the team realise their vision of revolutionising insights through data, and we have been impressed at the rapid growth of the flagship product Trendscope over recent years. We are excited to see the further development of the market that this round of finance will enable.”

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