Web sites collect more data than ever about the people who visit them — how they got there, what they looked at, how long they stayed. The result is an endless stream of information that site operators can sift through for insights about their audiences.
But the founders of Spinnakr saw a problem: The data is often bogged down in numbers, charts and graphs that make little sense to an untrained eye.
So the upstart’s software, which is scheduled to formally debut today, parses through the volumes of data, analyzes it for useful information, then tells the Web site operator what it all means.
“Since we live in this new big data era, there’s just so much data available to people. If you ask a human being to actually go though the process of analyzing it, you’ll never get a good result,” co-founder Adam Bonnifield said.
“What we’re doing is the next step of that. [We’re] doing the analysis that you expect the human being to do and just reporting the conclusion,” he continued.
Bonnifield and co-founder Michael Mayernick have amassed nearly $1 million in seed-stage capital to date from a slate of venture capitalists such as Andreessen Horowitz and Point Nine Capital, as well as local angel investors Ed Barrientos and Glen Hellman, among others.
The duo also participated in 500 Startups, a California-based accelerator program, that has since invested money in the company. As a result, the co-founders divide their time between the District and Silicon Valley.
So how exactly does it work?
Spinnakr’s software can tell a Web site operator, for example, that many of the site’s recent visitors have also been scouring online job boards, meaning they’re likely to be people looking for work. That helps the site identify those visitors and possibly point them toward relevant job openings.
The software could also identify that an unexpected influx of traffic is coming from a particular source, say an article in a newspaper or an advertisement on another Web site. The client can then use that information when marketing it products or determining what content to display on their home page.
It’s similar to the technology digital marketers currently use when they show you an advertisement for a pair of shoes or a car moments after you were eyeing those products on another Web site. Spinnakr’s technology applies a similar idea to an entire Web site, Bonnifield said.
“We think this approach has the potential to open up the Web analytics space massively, and be the platform that anybody with a Web site can use to harness the power of big data,” he said.
The Mid-Atlantic Venture Association gathered entrepreneurs and investors for its annual Capital Connection conference last week.
The majority of the event, which took place at the District’s Arena Stage, consisted of rapid-fire presentations from companies in the early and middle stages of development.
MAVA has been gradually expanding the portion of the event dedicated to elevator pitches from early-stage companies, called TechBuzz. The association plans to host three of the events this year, including last week’s sessions.
The pitches came from such firms as Betterific, an online platform for customer suggestions; CollegeAppz, a tool that walks students through the college admissions process; and Trak Wallet, a mobile commerce platform.
Riskive, an upstart working with large companies and government agencies to identify and stop cybercriminals before they strike, was dubbed the “Best of the Buzz.”
Between the company pitches were a series of speeches from company executives farther along the business-building continuum.
Chip Paucek, the chief executive of Landover-based 2U, told the crowd how his company has carved a niche in the online education market by partnering with well-regarded schools to bring undergraduate and graduate courses online.
Meanwhile, telecom veteran Gary Parsons said his latest venture, NextNav, aims to make the global positioning technology available on smartphones capable of providing direction and location information inside buildings.
Other speakers included Bob Gourley, the chief technology officer of Crucial Point and publisher of CTOvision.com, and Stephen McHale, the co-founder and CEO of electronic health records firm Explorys.
Fairfax-based software development firm 3Pillar Global collected $12 million in a first-round funding led by private equity shop NewSpring Capital, the company announced last week.
“With this funding and partnership with NewSpring, we’ll have the resources we need to accelerate growth by aggressively moving into new geographies and vertical markets,” chief executive David DeWolf said in a statement.
DeWolf will continue to lead the company, and its management team and corporate structure will stay the same, according to the statement.