Recent Y Combinator grad DataRank, which helps companies track online conversations related to their brands and perform other competitive analysis, has closed on $1.4 million in seed funding, the team is announcing today. The funding is led by New Road Ventures, and also includes participation from FundersClub and other angel investors.
Founded in October 2011 by Ryan Frazier, Chuong Nguyen, and Kenny Cason, and headquartered in Fayetteville, Ark., DataRank lives far outside the Valley, but its unusual home base is one that turned out to be more practical over the years, as the company shifted from its original focus of being a financial tool to one tracking data for consumer product companies.
That’s because the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer, Walmart, is also headquartered in nearby Bentonville. Today, there are roughly 1,400 consumer product companies with research teams in the area surrounding Walmart, explains Frazier, who is DataRank’s CEO. “Being able to walk into those places – sitting down, showing them your product and getting immediate feedback, has been immensely helpful,” he says.