Ubuntu CEO Joins Board of ‘data hub’ Startup ScraperWiki

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ScraperWiki, a Liverpool-based startup, today announces completion of a $1 million investment round to rollout its collaborative data platform. Jane Silber, Canonical’s CEO, is joining as chair of the board.

Francis Irving CEO of ScraperWiki said “the market for business data will be fully disrupted over the next decade and we will be using this investment to drive up data quality and drive down data collection costs.”

Jane Silber of Canonical says “I believe the impact of open data on Government and the Citizen will be immense. Just as ten years ago only a few recognised how open source would revolutionise IT, so now only a few understand the impact of open data”

ScraperWiki makes it easy for coders to do things with data across the web. It is in a new category of product sometimes referred to as a collaborative data platform or “data hub”.

The new funding will allow the company to scale up development of its software to address demands from B2B media companies and programmers. The North West Fund for Venture Capital, managed by EV, has made a substantial investment in the business as part of this round.

Doug Stellman, Investment Director for the fund, said: “Usage of ScraperWiki has reached an inflexion point and is set to take off as awareness of the platform spreads. In addition to the corporate and government customers, ScraperWiki has growing a community of independent IT professionals who are using it to provide data analysis services to their customers. There have already been some fascinating examples of novel collaborations.”

About ScraperWiki

The business was originally started by Aidan McGuire and Julian Todd, around the innovative idea of building a collaborative platform to allow programmers to share data collection programmes and trade programming skills with those who needed data collected or analysed.

In 2010 the business secured further funding from the Channel 4, and in 2011 the business won a major award from the US Knight Foundation to support the rollout of its platform across the US within the rapidly developing data-journalism arena. Increasingly major news stories have been developed from public web sources.

Stuart Scott Goldstone of Aarons, Chester advised EV on the investment, while Gary Jones of Weightmans, Liverpool, advised Scraperwiki.

Collaborative data platform# - would normally comprise dataset discovery, web data store, APIs, visualisation, ETL, export of data & data marketplace. Other market participants include Infochimps, Buzzdata, OKFN & Socrata.

Jane Silber
Jane Silber is CEO of Canonical. Canonical produces Ubuntu, the leading open source platform for client, server and cloud computing. Canonical provides services to the IT industry to bring Ubuntu-based products to market, and to enterprise and consumer users to maximise their Ubuntu experience. Jane has over 20 years of business development, operations and software management experience. Before becoming Chief Executive Officer in 2010, she ran several of Canonical's business units as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to Canonical, she was Vice President of Interactive Television Company and Vice President of General Dynamics C4 Systems. She has also worked in Japan for Teijin Ltd conducting artificial intelligence research and product development, and in the US at General Health, a health risk-assessment firm. She holds an MBA degree from Oxford University, an MSc degree in Management of Technology from Vanderbilt University, and a BSc degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from Haverford College.

The North West Fund
The North West Fund is a £185m evergreen investment fund established to provide debt and equity funding (from £50,000 to £2 million) to small and medium sized enterprises based in, or relocating to, the North West of England. The Fund addresses an identified gap in the lending, venture capital and private equity markets.

The North West Fund is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank (EIB) under the European Commission's Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises Initiative – otherwise known as the JEREMIE programme.

North West Business Finance Ltd (NWBF) is a private, not for profit, company, established to oversee the delivery of The North West Fund.

EV is a UK-based fund manager, which provides venture and growth capital of up to £2million to new or existing SMEs located throughout the UK and trading across technology and non-technology sectors. It operates from regional offices in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Preston and manages a range of investment funds totaling more than £130 million and focusing on all stages of development, including proof of concept/early stage, start-up, development capital, replacement capital and MBO/MBIs.


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