We are a few years into the era of realtime data. Everyone is producing and consuming it, but there is still a huge need to filter it. For that reason, Mark Suster of GRP Partners is doubling down on Twitter by investing in DataSift, one of two companies with rights to re-syndicate Twitter’s firehose of more than 200 million Tweets a day (the other one is Gnip). GRP and IA Ventures are investing $6 million in DataSift in a Series A.
DataSift was born out of Tweetmeme and launched at TechCrunch Disrupt SF last year. It provides the full Twitter firehose in a way that can be mined, chopped up, analyzed, and mashed up with other realtime streams such as Klout, PeerIndex, Facebook, WordPress, and others.
The bet that DataSift’s investors are making is that Twitter won’t enter this data syndication market itself and take it away like it did with Twitter clients. DataSift has a long-term contract with Twitter, but that doesn’t guarantee Twitter won’t replicate any services it sees to be especially profitable. On the other hand, if DataSift makes this work, it could become an acquisition target for Twitter.
DataSift is trying to create the basis for a realtime data mining and business intelligence business. It sees opportunities for products built on top of DataSift for financial services (realtime investing signals), marketing (sentiment analysis and influence trees), healthcare (looking for early signs of pandemics and other outbreaks), political campaigns (tracking voter sentiment), television (realtime feedback and social media monitoring), and news (breaking reports). DataSift won’t build any of these products itself, but rather sell the data to others.
If you want to see a fun little app built on top of DataSift, check out DataSift Invaders a Space Invaders game that shows a Twitter avatar every time somebody tweets @DSInvader. It then shoots the avatars based o their Klout score.