CrowdFlower has raised $12.5 million to keep big data nice and clean

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It’s nice to know that the human touch is still needed in a world where robotics and artificial intelligence are gaining momentum. CrowdFlower, which has five million so-called on-demand contributors cleaning up data, has raised $12.5 million in a Series C round of financing, led by Canvas Venture Fund, with full pro rata participation from Bessemer Venture Partners and Trinity Ventures. The new round brings the total amount raised to $28 million.

A few years ago, “big data” was a bleeding edge concept relevant only to the titans of the technology industry. Today, collecting and extracting business intelligence from massive data stores is status quo for everyday corporations far from Silicon Valley. But with this shift, and with an explosion in the volume of data created on a daily basis, there is a bigger need than ever for tools to make this analysis efficient and effective. Ask any room of data scientists what is the biggest obstacle in their line of work, and you’re almost certain to get a unanimous answer to the effect of, “structuring and refining otherwise ‘messy’ data.” What is effectively an administrative task today commands up to 80 percent of the time of the average data scientists according to research by EMC and MIT. CrowdFlower is one of the most popular solutions to this problem, offering a combination of software and human data enrichment services that are used by companies that include eBay, Autodesk, VMWare, Bloomberg, Eventbrite, YP.com, Home Depot, Edelman, Unilever, and other corporate giants. Today, CrowdFlower announced $12.5 million in Series C funding led by Canvas Venture Fund (a new spinoff of Morgenthaler Ventures), with participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners and Trinity Ventures.

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