The Download: Synapsify adds $600K to build text analytics software

Bethesda-based Synapsify, a creator of text analytics software, secured $600,000 from a slate of early-stage investors last week, the company said.

Synapsify aims to sell the technology to publishers and others who need to parse large volumes of text for quality, sentiment, credibility and other characteristics.

The money comes after its founder opted to abandon the original business name and concept to pursue a fresh idea.

Stephen Candelmo originally founded a different, but not entirely dissimilar, company called Klaggle that aimed to improve online consumer reviews of various products. That product also used text analytics to gauge the helpfulness of a particular review.

Ultimately, Candelmo said, he decided to use text analytics for a broader purpose, and shifted his target market to other businesses.

“In the end, we felt that that mission had run its course, and that the technology we were developing had a much broader reach within the enterprise market,” Candelmo said.

“We concluded that this new offering and its multitude of applications deserved a new company and branding dedicated to the technology,” he said.

Investors in the round include ICG Ventures, the venture arm of content distributor Ingram Content Group, as well as Fortify Ventures, Middleland Capital and a handful of other angel investors.

SXSW bound

Rockville’s Tista Games is headed to Texas this week as the online gaming company prepares to attend the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin and compete in a business-pitch competition with other young ventures.

Founded by Aunim Hossain, the company creates online video games that players receive in weekly installments. The company follows a model similar to television programs in which only the most popular games continue to produce new episodes.

Hossain said the company will compete in the entertainment and gaming technology category with eight other companies during the two-day challenge, which consists of two pitches and question-and-answer sessions.

The big prize: Bragging rights, Hossain said.

“I have gone through a number of pitches before,” Hossain said. “Breaking it down to two minutes, that’s going to be the toughest part.”

Steven Overly covers the business of technology, biotechnology and venture capital in the Washington region for The Washington Post and its weekly Capital Business publication. In that capacity, he has written about start-up struggles, investment trends and major drug discoveries.
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