Black Swan Data

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Black Swan Data
FoundersSteve King (CEO)
Hugo Amos (CMO)
Area served
DivisionsBlack Swan Data
Fethr (formerly Black Swan Avionics)
White Swan (charity division)

Black Swan Data is a London-based technology and data science company that produces a social prediction platform called Trendscope.[1][2] Trendscope uses predictive data science and proprietary Natural Language Processing to analyze Social data conversations that help businesses identify potential trends and customer behaviors.[3][4] Its notable clients include PepsiCo, Unilever, McDonald's, Danone, Disney and numerous others.[2][5][6] In 2016, the company raised a total of £9.2 million in two separate funding rounds led by investors like Mitsui, Albion Ventures, and The Blackstone Group.[3][7] The company is headquartered in London and has offices in Lake Forest, New York, Budapest, Szeged, Cape Town and Exeter.[8][9]


Black Swan Data was founded in London by Steve King (CEO) and Hugo Amos (CMO) in 2011.[3][10][11] In 2012, the firm raised £2.5 million from The Blackstone Group.[12] In 2013 the company's aviation division was founded. By 2014, the company counted Disney, Tesco, Panasonic Avionics, Samsung, Debenhams, Argos, and Vodafone among its clients. It maintained regional offices in Hong Kong and Los Angeles and opened a new office in Exeter, Devon. The company was also listed among The Sunday Times Tech Track Top 10 Ones to Watch.[5]

By early 2015, the company had added offices in Budapest, Manchester, and New York and was employing around 150 people.[9] In late 2015, Black Swan Data had around 200 employees and had added several clients, including GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever, and Mars.[9][12] The company was also listed first on the inaugural Sunday Times Sage Start-up Track 15 which identifies the fastest growing start-ups in Britain.[12][13]

In March 2016, the company received £3 million in a funding round led by Mitsui. According to the company, the funding was procured to further develop its Nest platform and expand the business into Japan and the United States.[7][6] In July 2016, Black Swan Data raised an additional £6.2 million from an investor group that included Albion Ventures, The Blackstone Group, and Mitsui. This capital would again be designated for the development of Nest and further international expansion.[3][4] Also in 2016, the company topped The Sunday Times SME Export Track 100.[14] In 2017 the company ranked 6th fastest growing European SME in Financial Times 1000. Again in 2018, the company ranked 79 in Financial Times 1000. The same year its offshoot charity White Swan Charity officially launched.

As of early 2018, Black Swan Data has over 260 employees, spread over eight offices in four countries, and counts major brands in the food, beverages and personal care sectors as its key clients for trend prediction and product innovation.

Products and services[edit]

Black Swan Data's primary business offering is their proprietary data analytics software platform called Trendscope.[4][15] The platform ingests millions of real-time, publicly available conversations from various Social data sources, including social media information, blogs and news. Trendscope filters and cleans this data, then uses algorithms to predict and forecast information to help businesses make marketing and supply chain decisions.[16]

In general, the data that Trendscope analyzes and the predictions it yields vary greatly depending on the client. For instance, for Disney's film Frozen, Black Swan Data analysts identified information from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb, data about movies released prior to Frozen, and videos that people were watching on YouTube as predictors for the potential success of the film and any related merchandise (and their requisite supply chains).[1] By contrast, Black Swan Data worked with PepsiCo to help them apply predictive technology to their business and keep up with health and lifestyle trends across food and beverages.

The company's aviation arm Fethr combines connectivity, data and predictive analytics to improve travel experiences. It has partnerships with Panasonic and Gate Group.


  1. ^ a b Heathman, Amelia (16 November 2016). "Black Swan's algorithms 'predict the future' – and they even know when you'll take sick days". Wired. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b Hutchison, Clare (8 August 2016). "Entrepreneurs: How Black Swan Data turned a back-of-a-beer-mat idea into a sales force to be reckoned with". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d O'Hear, Steve (7 July 2016). "Black Swan Data scores £6.2M to help companies make better use of consumer and public data". TechCrunch. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Bello Perez, Yessi (7 July 2016). "Data science firm Black Swan raises £6.2m". Tech City News. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Black Swan Data to open new regional office in Exeter at 'Silicon Quay'". Express & Echo. 9 September 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  6. ^ a b "UK data science start-up secures £3m in Japanese investment". Growth Business. 21 March 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  7. ^ a b Bello Perez, Yessi (21 March 2016). "London data science firm Black Swan lands £3m in funding". Tech City News. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  8. ^ Dunsby, Megan (7 July 2016). "Data science company Black Swan to spread wings with £6.2m funding". Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  9. ^ a b c "Big data experts Black Swan have big plans to expand in Exeter". Express & Echo. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Company Overview of Black Swan Data Limited". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  11. ^ "Black Swan Data". CrunchBase. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  12. ^ a b c Brooks, Steve (16 November 2015). "Black Swan flies high". Enterprise Times. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  13. ^ "These are Britain's 15 fastest-growing start-ups". London Loves Business. 16 November 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Black Swan". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  15. ^ "How PepsiCo is using predictive analytics to streamline product development". Contagious. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  16. ^ Heathman, Amelia (16 November 2016). "Black Swan's algorithms 'predict the future' – and they even know when you'll take sick days". Wired. Retrieved 24 January 2017.[verification needed]

External links[edit]