Black Swan Data

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Black Swan Data
Founded 2011
Founders Steve King (CEO)
Hugo Amos (CSO)
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Area served
Divisions Black Swan Innovation
Black Swan Edge
White Swan
Black Swan Avionics
Black Swan Data
Website Official website

Black Swan Data is a London-based technology and data science company that produces an online analytics platform called the Nest.[1][2] The Nest uses predictive data science to analyze a wide variety of data to help businesses identify potential trends and customer behaviors.[3][4] Its notable clients include Disney, PepsiCo, Vodafone, Panasonic, Tesco, 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 Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Singapore, Budapest, South Africa, Bristol, and Exeter.[8][9]


Black Swan Data was founded in London by Steve King (CEO) and Hugo Amos (CSO) in 2011.[3][10][11] In 2012, the firm raised £2.5 million from The Blackstone Group.[12] 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 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 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]

Products and services[edit]

Black Swan Data's primary business offering is their proprietary data analytics software platform called the "Nest" (or "NEST").[4] Black Swan collects a variety of data, including weather, news, social media information, and numerous other client-specific data sets.[6] The Nest then uses algorithms to predict and forecast information to help businesses make marketing and supply chain decisions.[1] In total, the Nest analyzes hundreds of thousands of data sets to produce its predictions.[9]

In general, the data that the Nest analyzes and the predictions it yields vary greatly depending on the client. For instance, for Disney's film Frozen, Black swan 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 looked at government health statistics, Google search trends, social media, and local sales figures to forecast when advertising vitamins might be most advantageous for GlaxoSmithKline.[2]


  1. ^ a b c 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 c 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 c "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 d "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. 

External links[edit]