Saturday , July 31 2021

PredictHQ goes out of hiding with $ 10 million to help Uber and others forecast demand increases



If you have ever tried to pardon Uber during a big sporting event or during a heavy downpour, you may have noticed that the price is higher than normal. It all depends on the rapid increase in prices, the mechanism that Uber has long used to manage supply – and yes, it demands more money – when demand is high.

It is often difficult to find out when prices will start to rise. Uber himself will probably not know much, he simply reacts automatically when he detects a higher than normal request for driving from a specific area. Drivers nearby may also receive notifications when there is a high voltage zone within 10 miles so that they can drive the vehicle to support the case (and get more money).

But one of the hiding companies is trying to help companies such as Uber predict well in advance when there is a great demand for their services.

Intelligence of the event

PredictHQ from New Zealand basically aggregates data sets from countless sources related to events including holidays, rites, concerts, festivals and more. The company then casts other "hard to find data" that it manually corrects, as well as its own proprietary data, and combines them into one API that grants licenses to companies, including Uber, Domino and Booking.com.

Above: Visualization of the PredictHQ platform

The company would not disclose to VentureBeat, from which sources it is used, but claimed that it includes commercial databases and proven open databases for "enriching partners", media and user-generated data sets.

"Events have a huge impact on business – they just do not realize it," said VentureBeat, co-founder and CEO of PredictHQ Campbell Brown. "We enable companies to understand demand catalysts before they happen, so they will not be forced to keep up with demand when the crowds hit."

Citing one example, Brown said that the American Society of Hematology is bringing in over 25,000 people every year to another city in the US (in San Diego next month, people) for an exhibition that can put a lot of pressure on local services without proper preparation. Add a big rock concert to the mixture, which will coincide with him in the same area, and local resource problems may occur.

"Most people do not even know about this event [American Society of Hematology] there is, or the fact that Fleetwood Mac or the exhibition of gems compromises the estimated 40-percent increase in demand, not to mention the impact it has on travel, tourism, logistics and hospitality in your city every year, "Brown added. is to prepare for huge jumps in demand that you can not see, but thanks to the intelligence of events you can. If you run a food chain, you can make sure that you have ordered enough ingredients to deal with it, or if you are Uber, you can proactively increase the number of cars on the roads so that you can improve your pickup time. "

Trick

Established outside of Auckland in 2015, PredictHQ officially begins by hiding today and revealed that it has raised $ 10 million in the A series of financing by Aspect Ventures, involving Lightspeed Venture Partners, Rampersand VC and AddVenture Fund partners. So far, the company has raised approximately USD 2 million (NZD), or approximately USD 1.4 million (USD).

In addition, PredictHQ picks up sticks and moves the company headquarters from New Zealand to San Francisco because it looks like it doubles the US market. In fact, one of the reasons that PredictHQ was able to secure its inaugural investment in the US was that CEO Brown was willing to move his company and family to the US.

"We started PredictHQ because we realized that tourism companies can benefit from understanding the catalysts of human motion," Brown said. "We soon realized, however, that the potential opportunity to collect data about events goes beyond travel and the industry, which has put us on the road to transforming from intelligence into a new form of intelligence that will help companies understand their clients' needs. presence, hire a qualified team in both the United States and New Zealand, and help companies in all industries to use event data as a form of interview. "

Above: PredictHQ team: CEO Campbell Brown is second from the right

At the beginning, most of the PredictHQ employees will still be in New Zealand, although the company predicts this over time – especially when it opens a new European office in the future.

Big data

Using large data sets to obtain meaningful information is a big business in many industries. In the last few months, Hopper has raised $ 100 million to develop a cost-prediction platform based on a large amount of data, while ZenCity has raised $ 6 million to the AI ​​platform, which helps cities collect data and track the residents' mood. Elsewhere, Launchmetrics has provided $ 50 million to help brands use large amounts of data to reach influential people.

"For too long, businesses have not had the opportunity to understand how people's movements around the world affect revenue, product use, supply chains and operations," said co-founder Aspect Ventures Theresia Gouw, who now joined the board of PredictHQ. "PredictHQ solves this problem."

Thanks to the PredictHQ function, Booking.com can "optimize prices" in hotel rooms based on events that it knows that they are approaching a given area, although another way to do this is that it allows Booking.com to use additional fees. The same applies to Uber, of course. But in the case of a company like Domino, data can be very useful in terms of knowledge, how many drivers you want to have changes in a specific time or how many components you should allocate to a specific outlet.

Ultimately, it's about a better understanding of the supply chain that can potentially be used by all companies, from airlines and international food and food concerns to clothing stores.

"All companies from Coca-Cola to Uniqlo need to optimize their supply chain and understand their demand – thanks to PredictHQ, they now have access to the necessary data to achieve it," added Lightspeed Venture Partners, Arif Janmohamed.

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