This ongoing series examines some of the key, exciting players in New York’s emerging data-based startup scene. The companies I’m highlighting differ in scope, design, and target industries, but converge around similar needs to store, process, and analyze large amounts of web data. Additionally, this round's companies share the common accomplishment of having demoed at the New York Tech Meetup (January's NYTM is happening tonight at 7pm).

You can read about the first ten NYC big data companies here. For Boston big data companies, click here. 


  • Product: CartoDB is a platform that lets you transform data sets into highly customizable maps.
  • Founders: Javier de la Torre (CEO), Sergio Alvarez Leiva (Lead Designer)
  • Tech used: cartodb.js, cartoCSS, PostreSQL, PostGIS, SQL API, JSONP, D3
  • Target industries: Academia, Media, Non-profit, Search, Government, anyone with mappable data 
  • Location: New York, NY (Soho) & Madrid, Spain
  • Funders: EU BON


  • Product: Think Evernote meets Pinterest, but for academic research. Citelighter is both an online highlighting and citation tool and a user-generated fact repository. Users save facts to their Citelighter profiles using the browser extension; they can also search for facts that fellow users have saved. Citeligher Pro includes full access to Questia's database. 
  • Founders: Saad Alam (CEO), Lee Joki (COO)
  • Target industry: Academia
  • Location: New York, NY (Flatiron)
  • Funders: Peter Borders, Christ Schroeder, Joe Abrams

Honest buildings 

  • Product: HonestBuildings is a real estate discovery engine and directory. It surfaces and connects owners, service providers, and occupants in all real estate categories. Service providers and vendors can also receive RFQs and RFPs and submit bids for projects. 
  • Founders: Riggs Kubiak (CEO), Cody Roberts (Development Lead), Garrett Kubiak (Community Development Lead)
  • Technology used: MySQL, mongoDB GridFS, Solr
  • Target industry: Real Estate
  • Location: New York, NY (Soho), Seattle, WA
  • Funders: RockPort Capital, Mohr Davidow Ventures

Rap genius

  • Product: Rap Genius provides crowdsourced definitions and translations of rap lyrics. Rappers themselves are entitled to verified accounts, allowing them to add and edit explanations of their own lyrics. The company's eventual aim is to provide annotations for all text.
  • Founders: Tom Lehman, Ilan Zechory, Mahbod Moghadam
  • Target industries: Pretty much any industry that includes opaque text documents--or perhaps, their watchdogs.  
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY (Williamsburg)
  • Funders: Andreesen Horowitz


  • Product: Rounding out the list with another translation services company. Smartling's translation management platform handles translation and editorial review (both with crowdsourced or professional options), publishing, and analytics. The file-based API automates download and deployment of post-translated code. 
  • Founder: Jack Welde, CEO
  • Target industries: Any multinational (or uninational but multilingual) company with a web and/or mobile presence. 
  • Location: New York, NY (Murray Hill)
  • Funders: First Round Capital, IDG VEntures, US Venture Partners, Venrock, Joseph Ansanelli, Bob & Sam Lessin, Alexander Lloyd, Aydin Senkut