Neutronian, a Silicon Valley company backed by data experts who created a verification platform similar to a FICO credit score, has added several influential investors and board members to drive the company forward.
The company also announced customer certifications and that it has closed its first funding round, but did not disclose the amount.
For Deven Sharma -- former president of Standard & Poor's, a division of S&P Global -- Neutronian's business model made it an easy choice to join as an investor and advisor.
“When I was introduced to the company I immediately could see they were solving the problem we all try to solve around data,” he said.
Sharma said one of the issues during the last financial crisis in 2008 was the quality of the data. There was fraud and inaccuracy. He sees a similar challenge today.
“There’s so much money flowing between marketers, advertisers and publishers, but there’s not a clear picture on whether or not it’s the correct target in which to use the data,” he said. “The question then becomes how much of that money is at risk and the amount of risk companies can remove through better scoring and quality.”
He said that without the ability to verify the data, about half of the advertising targets are never reached. “In the long run it will solve a societal issue,” he said.
Neutronian offers a variety of quality checks such as processing data and audits, which has also attracted other investors and advisors.
Avid Larizadeh Duggan, a non-executive director at Barclays and former general partner at Google Ventures, also joined as an investor and advisor. She also has been involved in the World Economic Forum.
New advisory board members include Marc Howard Ginsberg, VP of marketing for SMBs at American Express; Jene Elzie, chief growth officer at Athletes First Partners, a NBA Players Association Agency; Joe Weir, SVP of digital media at Cox Media Group; and Anthony Psacharopoulos, SVP of enterprise sales at VideoAmp.
Neutronian also today announced its first clients to receive certification, such as TVision. Others, such as Eyota, are in the process of being certified.
Kristina Prokop, CEO and cofounder at Eyeota and client of Neutronian, agrees with the need for scoring and transparency. “It’s been a lot of work gaining compliance, but they’ve proven they are detailed orientated,” Prokop said. “It’s all about creating confidence in data.”
The need for verification is obvious. Estimates put the business of data collecting and selling at about $200 billion.
A test done by Harvard Business Review found that the customer information sold by brokers varies in accuracy rates.
For example, “the average accuracy of gender segments classifying males was only 42.5% — which is lower than the 50% natural chance of identifying men. Data on age was slightly better, but not much – on average, in 77% of cases the age tier was also incorrect.”