This ongoing series examines some of the key, exciting players in Boston’s emerging Big Data arena. The companies I’m highlighting differ in growth stages, target markets and revenue models, but converge around their belief that the data is the fuel, and their tools the fire. You can read about the first twenty five companies here.

TalkTo

  • Product: Talkto’s slogan--search for any business, text it, and get a response--makes the app seem pretty simple, and to the end user, it is. On the backend, however, Talkto is doing a slew of tasks to ferry your text to the business and get the business’s response back to you. Talkto has already signed up some businesses, but when a user texts a non-Talkto business, the app will reach out via email, SMS, or even a phone call.
  • Founders: Stuart Levinson (cb), Riley Crane (t)
  • Technology used: Erlang, Clojure, Solr, RabbitMQ, MySQL, Redis, ejabberd, BOSH/XMPP, geolocation, NLP, and high volume, distributed messaging
  • Target Industry: Consumers and consumer-facing businesses
  • Location: Kendall Square
  • Backed by: Matrix Partners

Testive

  • Product: SAT Habit creates adaptive SAT diagnostic tests that both predict a user’s score and hone in on specific areas where the user can improve. Because each test question hinges on how a user’s preformed on previous questions, SAT Habit is able to serve up questions that are at the edge of the user’s ability.
  • Founders: Miro Kazakoff (t), Tom Rose (t)
  • Technology used: computer adaptive algorithms
  • Target industry: high school students (for now; I’m guessing they’ll move into other test markets eventually)
  • Location: Cambridge, MA

docTrackr

  • Product: docTrackr is remote document management software. Users can track, set permissions on, and delete documents after they’ve shared them. docTrackr is also a Box partner, so Box users can access docTrackr technology in the cloud.
  • Founders: Clement Cazalot (t), Alex Negrea (in), Alexander Gentea (in)
  • Technology used: Adobe cryptography stack, MSFT Office file formats
  • Target markets: Pretty much any business with an interest in tracking its documents
  • Locations: Kendall Square, Bucharest, Paris
  • Backed by: Polaris Ventures, Atlas Venture, Common Angels, and Alive Ideas

Mobee

  • Product: Mobee is a mystery shopping app. Merchants create missions (eg “buy a latte at Dunkin Donuts and ask the cashier about how it’s made”) and shoppers fulfill them for store credit, Amazon giftcards, or other rewards.
  • Founders: Prahar Shah (t), Tibault Le Conte (.me)
  • Target markets: Retail, Food + Beverage, Hospitality, consumers
  • Location: Kendall Square
  • Backed by: TiE Angels

Locu

  • Product: Locu is a) the world’s largest realtime small business database, b) a content publishing web app, and c) an API. On the web app side, Locu lets restaurant owners design, update, and publish their menus to all their online presences at once. Locu’s Data API gives developers real-time access to Locu’s dataset (venue + price information).
  • Founders: Rene Reinsberg (t), Marc Piette (in), Marek Olszewski (t), and Stelios Sidiroglou-Douskos (al)
  • Technology used: machine learning, NLP, and human computation
  • Target market: Restaurants
  • Locations: Kendall Square, San Francisco
  • Backed by: Quotidian Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, Lowercase Capital, Lightbank, SV Angel

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