Crowdsourcing Startup CrowdFlower Raises $5 Million

CrowdFlower, a crowdsourcing startup that recruits thousands of people online to complete repetitive tasks for big companies, has raised $5 million in a first round of funding co-led by Trinity Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners. CrowdFlower matches companies with big groups of workers, who complete basic tasks like verifying that business listings match certain phone numbers or flagging inappropriate images on user-generated sites; CrowdFlower then uses machine learning algorithms to check the quality of the work.

Earlier this fall, CrowdFlower also launched an iPhone app so that iPhone owners could verify the work of some of its workers who live in Kenyan refugee camps (Read our profile of that initiative here).

In conjunction with the funding news, CrowdFlower is also laying out some stats, which it says point to its success: CrowdFlower completed more than eight million tasks for its clients in 2009. More than 125,000 people participated. And the volume of labor the company has facilitated is up 760 percent over the last year.

The company says the funding will be used to “expand its range of client solutions and bring on-demand labor to clients around the world.” With the new cash, CrowdFlower will have raised $6.2 million since its start in late 2007.