Qloo, which bills itself as “the cultural artificial intelligence data platform,” has raised $6.5 million in additional funding from AXA Strategic Ventures and Elton John.
Yes, that’s the Elton John who co-wrote and performed “Tiny Dancer” and “Candle in the Wind.” He’s actually not the first big name to back the New York startup — actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Starwood Hotels founder Barry Sternlicht were both investors in the $4.5 million round that Qloo raised last year.
Qloo examines publicly available and open source data to try to understand patterns in consumer taste in categories like music, film, TV, books, podcasts, consumer products, fashion, dining and travel.
While the company has built a cultural recommendation app that anyone can download, it’s currently focused on selling this data to other businesses. For example, it says can help marketers understand which interests are shared by the fans of two competing sports teams, so that they can tailor their advertising accordingly during a big game. (The company says it has already mapped 750 million of these types of correlations.)
“We’re excited about the potential of Qloo’s cultural AI,” said Sir Elton (it feels wrong to just call him “John”) in the funding release. “It’s been a powerful tool for [his music company] Rocket Entertainment for brand partnerships across our entertainment company. We feel Qloo could be a driving force in the entertainment industry in years to come.”