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Industry Machine Learning
Founded Seattle, United States (2012 (2012))
  • Chris Metcalfe
  • Stephen Purpura
Headquarters Wells Fargo Center, 999 3rd Ave #2100, Seattle, WA 98104, United States
Area served
Key people
Joe Polverari (CEO)
Art Munson
Dustin Hillard[1]
Products Versive Security Engine, Versive Machine Learning Platform
Number of employees

Versive is a machine learning startup based in Seattle, Washington, US.[3][4] Founded in 2012 by Stephen Purpura and Chris Metcalfe, the company sells on-premises software, cloud services, and professional service solutions to help businesses automate human expertise.[3][5][6][7]

As of September 2014, Versive has raised $42 million in total investment.[8] The company changed its name from Context Relevant to Versive in 2017.


Versive has developed a platform that ingests data, determines what's important, and creates a problem-specific solution that can be deployed while continually learning.[9][10] The proprietary high-performance machine learning technology accelerates deployment of machine learning solutions.[3]

Problem-specific applications provide an out-of-the-box experience that reduces the workload on users building complicated models.[3][9] Deployment options include public or private clouds, traditional servers, and Hadoop clusters.[3][9]

Scale-out, in-memory technology allows smart caching for small or huge datasets using more computers to parallelize the efforts, as needed.[3][11]

Versive's software has been applied to various industries, including finance. The information gathered through the technology aims to help clients predict activity based on observed trends. The technology can be used to help security teams detect advanced cyber threats, and won the Best Emerging Security Product at Interop in May 2017.[12] It is useful for calculating prices and other risks at high speed.[13] The system can also detect fraud quickly.[14]

Investment history[edit]

Versive launched with $1.3 million in seed funding from Madrona Venture Group and Seattle-based angel investor Geoff Entress.[15] Other initial investors included Mike McSherry, Cliff Kushler, and Mark Illing of Swype/Nuance.[15] The startup received an additional $1.5 million in funding from Madrona in November 2012.[16] In July 2013, Versive raised a total of $7 million in a round of series A funding.[9][17][10] The round included previous investors such as Madrona and Entress, as well as Vulcan Capital and Bloomberg Beta.[18][19][20]

In May, June, and September 2014, Versive raised an additional $35 million in total investment in three chunks from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bloomberg Beta, New York Life, Formation 8, Madrona, Work-Bench, and Seattle angel investors.[21][22]


Versive has partnered with Good Harbor Security Risk Management,[23] a company founded by Richard A. Clarke, a counterterrorism expert and former cyber-security adviser under the Bush administration.[24] Clarke sits on Versive's advisory board and, through his company, helps Versive to repair security breaches and ensure security compliance, among other services.[25]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In May 2014 Versive was named to DataBeat's Innovation Showdown.[26]

In April 2014 Versive was nominated for Pacific Northwest Startup of the Year by GeekWire.[27]

In November 2013 Versive was selected by GeekWire in collaboration with the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) and the Bezos Center for Innovation as one of the Seattle 10. This recognizes the most promising young start-up companies within the Seattle region.[28][29] Context Relevant, along with the nine other companies, was recognized at the GeekWire Gala on 4 December 2013 where they also unveiled a sketch of their business concept on giant-sized cocktail napkins.[30]


  1. ^ Cook, John (August 28, 2012). "Context Relevant rebuffs 'acquihire' offers, attracts top data scientists". GeekWire. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  2. ^ Saitto, Serena (25 September 2014). "Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Fund Context Relevant". Bloomberg News.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Yang, Stephanie (July 16, 2013). "Data Analysis Startup Context Relevant Raises $7M Series A Round". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  4. ^ "Company Overview of Context Relevant, Inc". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  5. ^ Chowdhry, Amit (July 16, 2013). "Context Relevant Raises $7 Million In Series A". Pulse 2.0. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  6. ^ Woodward, Curd (June 28, 2012). "Context Relevant Raises $1.3M to Democratize Data Science". Xconomy. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  7. ^ Wexler, Steve (February 14, 2013). "Context Relevant: Why Big Data Boffins Are In Demand". IT Trends & Analysis. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  8. ^ Saitto, Serena (25 September 2014). "Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Fund Context Relevant". Bloomberg News.
  9. ^ a b c d Grant, Rebecca (July 16, 2013). "Context Relevant raises $7M for 'world's fastest' predictive analytics engine". VentureBeat. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Context Relevant closes $7M series a funding". FinSMEs. July 16, 2013. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  11. ^ "Context Relevant unveils its flagship analytics product and demonstrates game-changing approach to big data analysis". Context Relevant. August 28, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  12. ^ "Best of Interop ITX 2017 Winners Revealed". Network Computing. 2017-05-22. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  13. ^ Helm, Leslie (February 2014). "Bright Idea: Data Processing". Seattle Business.
  14. ^ Rasmus, Daniel W. (31 January 2014). "Analytics for the rest of us".
  15. ^ a b Cook, John (June 28, 2012). "From wine picks to stocks: Could the 'big data' geeks at newly-formed Context Relevant predict the future?". GeekWire. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  16. ^ Denne, Scott (November 15, 2012). "Context Relevant Adds $1.5M to Seed, Lands Concur as Customer". Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  17. ^ Cook, John (July 16, 2013). "Data analytics startup Context Relevant scores $7M series A from Madrona, Bloomberg and others". Geekwire. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  18. ^ Parkhurst, Emily (July 16, 2013). "Big money for big data: Context Relevant raises $7M from Madrona, Vulcan, others". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  19. ^ Romano, Benjamin (July 16, 2013). "Context Relevant, Ayasdi Score Funds to Automate Big Data Analysis". Xconomy. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  20. ^ Kelly, Meghan (July 16, 2013). "Funding Daily: Twerk". VentureBeat. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  21. ^ Gage, Deborah (20 May 2014). "Context Relevant Raises $21M To Automate Big Data". Wall Street Journal Digital.
  22. ^ Saitto, Serena (25 September 2014). "Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Fund Context Relevant". Bloomberg News.
  23. ^ Clemens, Jay (12 February 2014). "Richard Clarke: Context Relevant, Good Harbor Team to Help Target Cyber Threats".
  24. ^ "Profile: Richard Clarke". BBC News. 22 March 2004. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  25. ^ Cook, John (11 February 2014). "National security expert Richard Clarke to advise Seattle big data startup Context Relevant". Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  26. ^ VentureBeat Staff (14 May 2014). "Drumroll: Announcing the 2014 DataBeat Innovation Showdown finalists". VentureBeat. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  27. ^ Cook, John (14 April 2014). "GeekWire Awards voting begins: Cast your ballot for Startup of the Year". GeekWire. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  28. ^ Cook, John (14 November 2013). "Meet the Seattle 10: These innovative startups are looking to change the world". GeekWire. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  29. ^ Cook, John (29 November 2013). "Check out these startup business plans, sketched on giant cocktail napkins". GeekWire. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  30. ^ Soper, Taylor (5 December 2013). "The Seattle 10: Hot startups sketch business concepts on giant cocktail napkins". GeekWire. Retrieved 8 December 2013.

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