Lab42 Taps Social Networks For Market Research, Raises (Almost) $1M

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Lab42, a startup that helps agencies and other businesses conduct market research, says it has raised “just under” $1 million in funding.

President Gauri Sharma pitches Lab42′s services (which involve targeted surveys conducted over social networks) as new way to conduct research. One big difference: It’s faster and cheaper than hiring most market research firms, while also being more reliable than just throwing a survey online. Advertising and marketing agencies make up the company’s primary customer base, and clients include Redbox, David & Goliath, Y&R, and Ogilvy.

Lab42 recently added a social login feature, which asks respondents to log in through Facebook Connect before filling out the survey. That makes it easier to verify that users are part of the target audience. A Facebook profile is no guarantee that someone really is the age or gender they say they are, or that they’re from the hometown that they claim, but it makes those things more likely.

The company also makes uses its data to create infographics, include some that have supposedly been featured on NPR and Mashable (which is a pretty impressive spread). This year, Lab42 plans to expand beyond social networks.

Lab42 was incubated at Chicago-based Sandbox Industries and raised its funding from the incubator’s venture arm, Sandbox Venture Fund.