(l-r) COO Oliver May and founder and CEO Tugce Bulut

Streetbees eyes US expansion following £8.6m investment

The London-based firm, which has developed the world’s first real-time global consumer insights platform, has closed a Series A funding round led by Atomico.

Streetbees, the global intelligence platform, has closed an £8.6m Series A funding round led by Atomico with participation from LocalGlobe, Octopus and BGF Ventures.

The investment will be used to further develop its core machine learning technology - which transforms the real-time data provided by its global community of users into actionable insights for brands - and launch its first office in the US.

Tugce Bulut, CEO of Streetbees, said: “Human behaviour is too complex to standardise and understand with multiple-choice questions and automated analysis, but this is what most research groups dish up time and time again.

“International companies need deep insight into unique drivers of human behaviour to be able to understand their customers and grow into new markets.

“Streetbees, which is backed by some of Europe’s smartest investors, captures the detail within people’s lives at scale and analyses it, helping companies both understand the bigger picture and act like an innovative start-up that has intimate knowledge of local markets.”

Over 1 million users – or ‘bees’ – across 150 countries worldwide use the chat-style Streetbees app to share moments from their daily lives via videos, photos and text, giving as much or as little information as they like.

By applying advanced natural language processing technology to the results, Streetbees uncovers not just what they do, but also why they do it, and what drives them – and predicts what they may do next.

As a result, Streetbees’ customers – who include Unilever, PepsiCo, BBC World Service, Vodafone and L’Oreal, and nine out of the world’s 10 largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies - receive rich insights into communities anywhere in the world at an unprecedented scale and affordable cost, helping them deeply understand new or unfamiliar markets.

Using the Streetbees platform, world-leading brands are able to make more informed and accurate decisions about consumer behaviour and predict future trends with confidence.

With the new funding, Streetbees will further develop its machine learning technology platform to provide customers with a live stream of information from its users that is constantly being collected across the world.

The new platform, called Always On, allows customers to have ongoing access to insights from real-life stories, instead of relying on one-shot multiple-choice surveys to try and understand communities and markets.

Already, the results from the platform have identified surprising trends that have gone unspotted elsewhere – such as burgers being served in ice-cream cones.

Carolina Brochado, the Atomico Partner who led the investment, said: “Traditional market research is slow, rigid and expensive, costing brands $44bn globally every year to produce consumer insights that are often woefully out-of-date by the time they are delivered.

“As consumers we expect an always-on approach to service from the brands we love, yet to date it has been impossible for brands to achieve an always-on approach to understanding their customer’s needs and behaviour.

“With Streetbees, we have found the world’s first real-time technology-enabled customer insights platform – giving brands dynamic responses, from real customers, for a fraction of the cost and time taken by traditional incumbents.

“Streetbees has fundamentally changed the way international companies can engage and understand their global consumer base.”

The funding will also allow Streetbees, which currently employs 75 people at its London headquarters and in Lisbon, to expand its data science team, develop its community networks across the world, and grow in the US, where the company opened an office in January 2018.