DataSift raises $42M. Maybe there’s something to this social data after all

DataSift, one of three company’s with full access to the full stream of Twitter data — along with Gnip and new Apple property Topsy — has raised a $42 million series C round of venture capital. The company, which provides analytics and data across a wide range of social media and commenting platforms, has now raised nearly $73 million since launching in 2010.

DataSift’s service is similar to those offered by Gnip and Topsy, although there are some notable differences around delivery models, historical ranges (DataSift’s historical data only goes back three years) and the number of platforms analyzed. Gnip and DataSift, for example, cover all sorts of social media, blog and comment platforms, whereas Topsy is focused just on Twitter.

Between news of Apple’s $200 million acquisition of Topsy on Monday and DataSift’s funding new today, it should be clear just how much value companies are putting on being able to make sense of the conversations taking place on social media. There’s a lot of talk happening in a lot of places, and capturing, filtering and analyzing it all is a tall technological order for companies that don’t specialize on that workflow.

A sample diagram of what DataSift can extract from a tweet.

A sample diagram of what DataSift can extract from a tweet.

Given the value of what they’re doing, it’s anyone’s guess how long DataSift and Gnip will remain independent companies, but it seems they’ll command a higher price than Topsy did.

Insight Venture Partners led DataSift’s latest round, with participation from existing investors Scale Venture Partners, Upfront Ventures, IA Ventures, Northgate Capital and Daher Capital.

For more information on DataSift’s business and the value of — and difficulty of processing — social data, check out this interview with DataSift founder Nick Halstead from our Structure Europe conference in 2012.

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Correction: This article was updated at 9:14 a.m. to correct a mistake regarding the range of DataSift’s historical data, which goes back three years and not two years as originally stated.