Yarden Horwitz and Olivier Zimmer, who started Google’s Trendspotting division and left the company to create startup Spate, have raised $1.8M led by Initialized Capital. The duo, who were responsible for analyzing trends and launching reports such as Google Skin Care Trends Report, founded the consumer intelligence platform for beauty and food as a way to use behavioral data and machine learning to spot new consumer trends, predict their trajectory and identify white space opportunities for brands in product and commercial innovation.
“We led Spate’s seed round because its relentless focus on data and the founders’ roots at Google create a special kind of DNA for it to become the Nielsen of the next generation,” explained Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, who is married to Serena Williams. “What people post on social media or what they say in surveys may not always reflect what’s actually happening. But by analyzing data points, including search (where you learn what people really think), one can gain a strong understanding of the online consciousness — or what consumers really want, need and desire.”
The idea for the company came about after Olivier and Yarden realized the need for more accurate external trends data to help inform new product line decisions and predict consumer demand. Spate ran a pilot with top beauty brands and discovered that their methodology enabled brands to spot new, significant consumer behaviors four to five times faster than a typical study—helping brands speed up their process and ensure they don’t have any consumer blind spots from the start of their innovation process.
Explaining Spate’s capabilities Alexis noted, “If you were to launch a new makeup product — would you choose eyebrows or eyelashes? It can be hard to decide, especially since strong, defined eyebrows, like Cara Delevingne’s, have been all the rage for the last few years. However, by looking at consumer search data, we can see that interest in eyebrows is down 5.7 percent year-over-year, but interest in eyelashes is growing at 16.6 percent year-over-year. Consumers are turning their attention from eyebrows to eyelashes — so it would make sense for your next product to be focused on this growth area, as well.”
Following the investment announcement, Spate revealed that the company will be launching two new offerings, Dashboard Access, with more than 3 billion data points analyzed across 40,000 beauty-related products, brands and trends, and Reports, which provides custom reporting including trends analysis, forecasting, competitive analysis and key driver analysis.