Singapore-based data analytics startup Nugit, founded by Australian entrepreneur David Sanderson, has raised US$5.2 million ($6.8 million) in funding from Sequoia India. The fresh capital, which follows seed funding from 500 Startups and The Hub Singapore, will help the startup accelerate its research and development.
Founded in 2013, the startup automates the process of data extraction, processing, and analysis in the marketing sphere, allowing users to connect their data sources, such as their social media accounts and Google Analytics, and easily generate ‘decision-ready’ reports.
These reports are generated through Nugit’s artificial intelligence, which it explains allows for data cleaning, integration, and harmonisation of data sources in real time. Its natural language generation technology, which adds insights and then delivers the reports via email or PowerPoint.
Sanderson said, “Many of the legacy systems that are being used to manage marketing data are slow, over-priced and take months to implement. We believe analytics can be much leaner and more intelligent, by leveraging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.”
With the worth of the digital marketing sector estimated to grow to $185 billion in 2017, Nugit believes there will in turn be a growing demand for data analysis: as it stands, the average analyst spends between 50 to 80 percent of their time extracting, cleaning, and combining data before actually conducting any analysis.
The startup reports that it currently manages 146,000 connected ad accounts for more than 500 brands across 34 countries, with Johnson & Johnson, Publicis Media, and Facebook itself among its clients.
Pieter Kemps, an investment advisor at Sequoia, said, “We were thrilled to see the world-class engineering team and the fast adoption from enterprises, publishers and agencies. It has been impressive to see the intelligence of the Nugit platform, and how it offers enhanced efficiency and clarity to marketers. Nugit is part of a trend where global SaaS businesses are being built from Asia.”
Sanderson is one of a growing number of Australians working on tech Singapore, with the relationship between the startup sectors in the two countries strengthening as of late.
Telstra-backed startup accelerator muru-D launched a program in Singapore in April last year in a bid to help grow and tap into the entrepreneurial ecosystem across Southeast Asia, while the Federal Government earlier this year announced Singapore as the location for its fifth and final global landing pad.
Startups working between the two countries include Sydney-founded edutech startup Zookal, now based in Singapore, while Singapore ecommerce platform Sprooki recently appointed former Westpac CIO Bob McKinnon as chairman ahead of a planned listing on the ASX.
The potential of Southeast Asia has been seen elsewhere too, with 500 Startups earlier this week announcing a new $50 million fund for 500 Durians, its Southeast Asia-specific arm.
Image: Nugit team. Source: Nugit.