Streetbees, an online intelligence platform, has raised $12m in Series A funding led by Atomico.

The investment will help the London-based firm develop their machine learning technology, which uses mobile geolocation and social media to gather data from its users (called bees) and give brands a live-stream of consumer behaviour across the world. The new platform, called Always On, allows brands to have ongoing access to the actions and opinions of its’ customers.

According to Streetbees, the platform has identified surprising trends that have gone unspotted elsewhere – such as burgers being served in ice-cream cones.

The round, which was backed by existing investors LocalGlobe, Octopus and BGF Ventures, will also help Streetbees expand its data science team in London and grow in the US, where it opened an office in January 2018.

Tugce Bulut, CEO of Streetbees, explained the purpose of the company: “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,” he added.

The company claims more than one million bees across 150 countries use the Streetbees app to share moments and opinions from their daily lives via videos, photos and text. The aim is to gather data without the use of online survey forms, in the hope it will allow for more natural language that can help uncover why people do what they do. 

The data is then passed onto Streetbees’ customers – which include Unilever, PepsiCo, BBC World Service, Vodafone and L’Oreal, to help them understand customer behaviour and predict future trends. Brands can search for any community across the world, with the claim it helps them understand new or unfamiliar markets.

Carolina Brochado, the Atomico partner who led the investment, said: “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,” she added.

This latest funding brings Streetbees funding total to $17.1m, after securing $5.1m in a Seed round led by BGF Ventures in 2017.

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