Data cleansing (preparing data for applications such as predictive analytics) takes time. In fact, one recent study found that data scientists spend an estimated 60% of their time cleaning and organizing data. Time is not the only thing lost. According to Experian, “dirty data” costs the average company 15% to 25% of revenue and costs the US economy $3 trillion annually.
On a mission to change things, Eric Crane and David Boskovic started Flatfile, a platform that automatically learns how imported data should be structured and cleaned. With customers including ClickUp, Square, AstraZeneca and Spotify, the startup is gearing up for its next phase of growth, having closed a $50 million Series B round, bringing Flatfile’s total to his $94.7 million. became.
Tiger Global led the Series B tranche, with participation from Gradient Ventures (Google’s AI-focused fund) and Workday. Finally, we’ve definitely made it clear that Flatfile’s data processing pipeline is applicable to the HR business. Angel investors from Scale Ventures and Airtable, DocuSign, LinkedIn and Gainsight also contributed, Boskovic told TechCrunch in an email.
“Data exchanges and data onboarding of new customers, in particular, can take thousands of hours to complete as data is collected, cleaned and moved from one business to another,” Boskovic said. says. “Examples of this include a client sending a lump sum payment to a credit card company or a vendor sending supply chain updates to a food conglomerate. It means taking 6 months or more to get ready, causing delays in customer onboarding, cost overruns, and lost customers… I figured out how to streamline the data exchange process and save a ton of time and money. I did.”
Crane and Boskovic created the technology behind Flatfile at productivity startup Envoy. There, we shared a mutual frustration with wasting a lot of time manipulating and cleaning up company data. Through Flatfile, they specifically tried to address the challenges of data onboarding. In data onboarding, large differences between input files have historically made rule-based models invalid.
Flatfile uses AI trained with over 25 billion “data decisions” to map and resolve schemas in files such as spreadsheets and CSVs. When the algorithm encounters a data type that is unusual or cannot be handled automatically, it prompts the customer to make a decision and adds the scenario to the database for future reference.
Flatfile recently released a software development kit that allows developers to build on top of Flatfile’s components and access import, match, merge, and export functionality. The company will continue to offer out-of-the-box import his workflows, but the kit will allow customers with more specific requirements to customize the experience, Boskovic said.
“Basically, we allow our customers to get inside and piece together all the pieces they need to move information between systems with maximum flexibility and scale,” he added. . “[The] The platform enables companies to put data to work faster. This allows our employees to focus on their natural strengths and leave the dirty work to us. By eliminating the thousands of hours companies spend trying to properly format data for their systems, Flatfile helps companies get products to market faster and realize significant cost savings. helps. ”
Flatfile competes with existing services such as Amazon’s Textract, which can automatically extract text and data from scanned documents, and Microsoft’s data onboarding tool, Form Recognizer. Google offers its own data extraction tools such as Cloud Natural Language that perform syntactic, sentiment and entity analysis on existing files.
In any case, Boskovic said the pandemic and economic downturn presented a huge growth opportunity for Flatfile. The pandemic is because businesses are moving their data to the cloud, and the recession is because it puts pressure on businesses to “prove their value faster.” Flatfile’s customer base is thousands of developers and 500 companies, as well as some obscure government agencies.
“Flatfile is in a strong position because it offers comprehensive solutions to critical business challenges. With two years left on the runway, we have decided to move opportunistically to maximize investor demand. raised a series B. [and now] We have four years of runway to keep improving our operations based on customer feedback,” said Boscovich. “This investment will be used to expand and support Global Enterprise companies, which is Flatfile’s fastest growing segment. We expect this growth to continue in the near future, with annual recurring revenue exceeding $5 million and forecast to more than double over the next 12 months.”