CrowdFlower, a startup that helps businesses outsource mundane or repetitive tasks to the cloud, has raised $7 million in new funding led by Harmony Partners with Trinity Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners participating in the round. This brings the startup’s total funding to $12 million.
CrowdFlower, which launched at TechCrunch50 in 2009 and is a product of Dolores Labs, prices tasks and jobs based on the amount of time it takes to perform the assignment per unit (the user does the sample task). The startup mainly focuses on helping businesses complete tasks relating to data collection, content moderation and product search relevance.
The startup will break the task into units that can be performed by a single person and price the task accordingly. CrowdFlower then lets you choose the channels of work ranging from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to their own labor force to even a Facebook application where people perform task to earn virtual currencies. Once the task is finished, CrowdFlower will perform a quality control check and show the user the results of the task. The startup will indicate which workers were most productive and accurate. CrowdFlower will continue to employ workers who have high ratings. On the client end, businesses will only pay for task completed to a specified quality level.
Now, the startup is starting to offer industry and task specific offerings to businesses. A few months ago, CrowdFlower released a data collection offering that verifies business listings and local directories on the web. And today, the startup is releasing a categorization product that allows e-commerce sites to sift through data and categorize each product.
Lukas Biewald, CEO of CrowdFlower, says that many e-commerce sites get unstructured data from manufacturers and suppliers and find it difficult to sort through and categorize all this data. And if a retailers doesn’t categorize and tag data properly, then it won’t be searchable on their sites and will lead to less conversions. CrowdFlower claims that the product has 95% accuracy. Additionally, the API and customized dashboard enable an automated solution for data transfer to clients.
To date, CrowdFlower has completed 85.04 million tasks, 8.6 million of which were completed last month. CrowdFlower, which faces competition from CloudCrowd, plans to use the funding to scale the business and for new product development.