A good investment – Socrata, an open public data platform

Public data is hot right now and so is analytics. Combine the two and you get Socrata. There is a ton of public data out there on internet but it is highly fragmented. It is sprinkled all over the internet in multitude of formats like csv, xls, doc, access databases, sql databases etc. It’s a challenge to get any meaningful information out of it. Socrata provides a standardized platform for government agencies to make data available to the public. This data can be easily mined to gain meaningful insights.

Socrata’s customers are government agencies such as health departments, city governments and state governments. Company has a clear strategy around which customer segment it is going after. I would assume that the government agencies have annual budgets allocated to make public data available to the public. Socrata provides them a channel and ease to make that happen. Socrata’s revenue streams appear to be fairly stable considering the government agencies are spending more dollars on IT. Socrata’s revenue grew 166% in 2013 compared to 136% in 2012[i].

Founded in 2007 by Kevin Merritt, Socrata has grown exponentially over last two years. Socrata has a well-rounded leadership team. Kevin is a serial entrepreneur. MessageRite, a company that Kevin founded in 2002 was acquired by FrontBridge Technologies in 2004 which was further acquired by Microsoft in 2005. Other members of the senior leadership team have extensive experience in enterprise and government space. Socrata is backed by Frazier technology ventures, Morgenthaler ventures and OpenView venture partners. It has raised close to $25 million dollars in two rounds.

I am bullish on Socrata because of a combination of growing market for public data, company’s revenue model and company’s leadership team.

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