Mike Lynch has made his first public investment since the news broke that he is to leave Hewlett Packard, participating in a £1.5m funding round for Cambridge big data firm, Featurespace.
Imperial Innovations led the round with a £750,000 investment, its third Cambridge investment from its £140m four universities fund, which has also seen it back Mission Therapeutics and Cambridge Communication Systems. The London-based group set up an office in the city at the beginning of the year to bring it closer to some of the companies targeted by .
Like Autonomy, Featurespace came out of a Cambridge University lab that focused on Bayesian based analysis and like Autonomy it analyses large data sets that already exist within companies. Featurespace though focuses on customer behaviour to help filter out fraud as well as to provide important marketing intelligence.
According to Featurespace's VP Marketing, Jeremy Jones, the company will now use the money to ratchet up sales both in-house and through channel partners, and to make further advances on integrating the technology with customers' individual data sets.
Featurespace says its technology has the potential to be widely adopted across the $10bn business intelligence market which it quotes as growing at 13.4 per cent per annum and the fraud detection market worth $270m, also with a 13.4 per cent p.a. growth rate.
"This is not just about headcount," said Jones. "We are strategically investing in development of the product, helping us get to market and reach the target customers.
"We will be adding further predictive capability of the product and increasing the range of integration options for customers."
Jones was VP Marketing at Datanomic when it was acquired by Oracle last year while Lynch has very well documented experience in building a business from the ground up into a major world player. He has been a non-executive director on the Featurespace board for several years and continues to work closely with the company's CEO, David Excell, according to its web site.
Featurespace was co-founded in 2005 by Professor William Fitzgerald at Cambridge University's department of engineering and his former PhD student, David Excell, the firm's CEO. It raised seed funding in 2008 and a £1m Series A round in 2010.
Jones says further funding is not currently on the roadmap, it hopes to grow off the back of sales. Existing customers include online betting web site, Betfair and IG Group, a leader in financial derivatives trading.