Datasift Unveils New Conversation Feature, Guns for a $500M Valuation

Datasift has come a long way. It’s now at 135 people (is aiming for 200 people next year), is poised to open a London Office (it’s actually been based just outside London all this time), and has raised nearly $80m in venture. TechCrunch understands that it’s soon raising series D at a valuation of near on $500 million.

It’s now unveiled a new product called Vedo Focus. This can categorise social content into 450,000 distinct topics. It can also distinguish between Frozen the food, or the movie, and has a 21 levels deep hierarchy.

The product uses a corpus of more than one billion facts to categorise every single tweet, post, and blog into an ever-growing hierarchical taxonomy of more than 450,000 topics.

Founder and CEO Nick Halstead tells me that this allows Datasift to categorise every social network (in realtime) in terms of whatever a conversation is about. This in turns lets them size whole markets – not something that has been done before.

Vedo Focus can now, at any time, know the complete ‘universe of social’ in terms of who is talking about any subject. For example, everyone talking about movies, or fashion, or automative.

Halstead scotched rumours that Datasft’s relationship with Twitter was on shaky ground after its acquisition of a competitor.

“On Twitter nothing has changed, business continues as normal, we continue to grow stronger than ever” he told me.