Dataminr acquires WatchKeeper event tracker to increase real-time alerts

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Dataminr, a New York-based company specializing in real-time news alerts, today announced that it has purchased WatchKeeper, a geovisualization data platform, for an undisclosed amount. Dataminr, which says the acquisition – its first – was a direct result of its Series F financing, characterizes the move as one of the first to fuel the growth of its business in the private sector.

“The integration of WatchKeeper’s capabilities will provide Dataminr’s corporate clients with a unique experience, enabling them to view real-time alerts as well as relevant first and third-party data framed in the context of their assets,” said a door -speak. VentureBeat told via email. “About 95% of the more than 180,000 data sources integrated by Dataminr did not exist when the company was founded in 2009, and similarly, the company expects 95% of the data sources that ‘it will integrate over the next 10 years have yet to be created. As such, the acquisition of WatchKeeper aligns with Dataminr’s mission to continue to be at the forefront of delivering valuable public information in real time.

Dataminr, which was founded in 2009 by Yale graduates Ted Bailey, Sam Hendel and Jeff Kinsey, offers a platform that detects patterns of emerging events and information from public data signals. The company claims to perform billions of calculations daily on billions of public data entries in more than 150 languages, relying on text, images, videos, sensor logs and multimodal combinations of these formats to from blogs, social media, forums, local media, radio and audio, the deep and dark web, and Internet of Things devices.

On the other hand, WatchKeeper, the brainchild of Hugh Farquhar and Daniel Whatmuff, debuted in 2018 as a “critical event management” software service. Whatmuff has experience in developing software and cloud-based platforms operating in high security environments. As for Farquhar, he spent 15 years in corporate security, including 10 years in global security and crisis management at Citibank, where he identified and managed natural disasters and “violent incidents”. Farquhar also consulted with companies operating in high-risk environments, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

WatchKeeper offers a map view that shows a company’s assets, physical security, and crisis risk, which can be filtered by event, type, location, and severity. Customers can choose from a range of map styles and share events and locations with teams, with a feed that lets them sort notifications and open cases in an activity timeline. Businesses can also set rules for alerts and create briefings with map views, taking advantage of WatchKeeper’s geofencing tools and communication engine. And they can automate address-based geocoding while performing tasks like importing staff contact details.

Above: The WatchKeeper geovisualization platform in action.

Image Credit: WatchKeeper

“For [use cases like] aviation, maritime and travel, WatchKeeper provides an end-to-end solution for [customer], employee and asset safety, ”the company writes on its website. “You can integrate traveler, flight or vessel data, track assets in real time, and receive automatic alerts of threats to operations or customers, all in one real-time view. WatchKeeper helps organizations through the… cycle.

UK-based WatchKeeper previously raised $ 1.4 million from MMC Ventures and Venrex in two rounds of seed funding.

The integration

Dataminr plans to combine WatchKeeper’s geovisualized data layers with its Pulse product to provide context around the events. According to Bailey, customers will be able to see when events occur near their staff, facilities and supply chain to better assess the extent of potential business disruption. WatchKeeper’s platform will also power navigation with contextual data, ranging from live weather data, forecasts and traffic to the company’s internal security cameras, feeds and signals from sensors.

The new version of Pulse with WatchKeeper will be available through an Early Access program later this year, with wider availability slated for early 2022.

“Dataminr’s real-time information and event discovery platform has revolutionized real-time information, providing businesses with the fastest, most comprehensive and accurate real-time information,” said Bailey said in a press release. “By integrating WatchKeeper’s advanced geo-visualization platform into Dataminr Pulse, our alerts will be more deeply integrated into enterprise crisis management workflows, enabling broader contextualization, deeper analysis and faster action.

Dataminr first appeared in the public eye in 2011, when he issued an alert that Osama bin Laden had been killed 23 minutes before major news agencies. In 2019, Dataminr claimed to have detected the first signs of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan on local Chinese social media platforms like Weibo and then identified clusters indicating future peaks in 14 US states. While the company flirted with controversy, particularly around its law enforcement contracts, it didn’t impact business. The company of about 650 people has recorded a doubling of its turnover three years in a row in its business line.

Dataminr plans to potentially file an initial public offering, most likely in 2023.

“We have only scratched the surface of potential use cases for Dataminr’s platform, a horizontal capability that will power many future applications across the company. WatchKeeper’s advanced geovisualization platform will accelerate our efforts to unlock more enterprise use cases for global businesses in the years to come, ”Bailey continued.


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