New sources of data mined by startups like Foursquare, Premise, and Orbital Insight are letting investors understand trends before they happen.

The proliferation of mobile devices, low-cost sensors, and technologies like AI-assisted image-processing have led to an explosion of new and potential data sources. Hedge funds and other investors see value in these non-traditional datasets to mine predictive insights, which might put them ahead of the rest of the pack.

After Foursquare’s recent accurate prediction about Chipotle earnings miss — based on the app’s aggregated foot-traffic data — we can expect more investors to look closely alternative data sources. We mapped out startups (and exited companies) working to provide investors and other clients with non-traditional data. See below for the full infographic.

Flash Webinar: Alternative Data
CB Insights senior analyst Matthew Wong hosts a flash webinar (only 10 minutes) on how startups are enabling the rise of alternative data in institutional investing and more.


Alternative Data Map

  • Satellite Data - These are companies that utilize image data from orbiting satellites to do things like measure the number of cars in Walmart parking lots or farm health based on the color of crops.
    Select Companies: Orbital Insight, Rezatec, Windward
  • Web/App/Social Media Data – These are companies which mine social media or use data firehoses from the web/mobile to understand what’s happening in the world or how people are interacting with their devices.
    Select Companies: Dataminr, App Annie, 7ParkData
  • Weather Data – These are companies which are developing weather models and utilizing more sensors to get better localized data or improve weather forecasting.
    Select Companies: Aclima, Understory
  • Location/Foot Traffic Data – Companies that use different means to understand where consumers are going by measuring foot traffic via check-ins, video analysis, etc.
    Select Companies:  Foursquare, Placemeter, Placed
  • Alternative Credit - Companies developing new credit models that utilize sources of alternative data (like mobile usage).
    Select Companies: Cignifi, First Access, FactorTrust
  • Credit Card Transactions – These are companies that use anonymous aggregate transaction data to understand trends in consumer purchasing habits.
    Select Companies: Earnest, Second Measure
  • Alternative Data Monetizers/Aggregators – These are companies who pay for access to individual data streams which become more valuable in a bundle, and then sell those packages to investors.
    Select Companies: Eagle Alpha, Quanton Data, Discern
  • Local Prices – These companies can see what’s happening to prices and inflation by aggregating data from ground-level sources.
    Select Companies: Premise

If you’re interested in learning more about alternative data, be sure to check out our alternative data panel at the Future of Fintech conference. Want to see more startups working in alternative data? Check out our database below.