RichRelevance Goes Shopping for Data Analytics Platform, Buys Precog

After two years of trying to “go broad” with predictive data analytics, Precog has been bought by a company that wants it to “go deep.”

RichRelevance announced earlier this week that it bought Precog, a Boulder, CO-based startup, for an undisclosed amount. RichRelevance specializes in personalized e-commerce software, and the San Francisco-based company works with major retailers including Walmart, Target, and Sears.

Precog developed software that helps companies store, integrate, and analyze large volumes of semi-structured data from sources like the web or social media and make predictions based on that data.

Precog founder and former CEO John De Goes said it was a good deal for the company. The entire team is joining RichRelevance, and it will remain in Boulder. De Goes will become a principal architect.

De Goes and the former Precog staff will work “to create a platform for building retail-centered analytic programs,” he said.

The work is much like what Precog has been doing since it launched out of Techstars in 2011, back when it was known as ReportGrid, but with a much narrower focus.

Precog’s idea was that companies in almost any industry could benefit from data analytics about users or customers. De Goes said Precog’s strategy was to “go broad” by building the advanced analytics and visualization tools those companies needed and offering it as a turnkey service.

Precog gained some traction and raised a $750,000 seed round after Techstars. De Goes said Precog had 4,000 different users despite only emerging from beta in May.

One of them was RichRelevance, which wants to beef up its analytics in order to improve its personalization and targeted advertising tools, chief scientist and vice president of product Darren Vengroff said in an interview.

“It seemed like a real opportunity to bring some cutting-edge analytics work in to our platform in order to help us build the next generation of retail and advertising personalization tools. That’s what drove the acquisition,” he said.

De Goes said Precog began talking with RichRelevance about an acquisition about three months ago. While the deal officially closed Wednesday, Precog employees began the transition process a few weeks ago.

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