The secret weapon of journalists and Wall Street traders just raised $130 million

Dataminr, the big data analysis tool beloved by journalists and Wall Street traders, has raised $US130 million from an array of high-profile investors at a rumoured $US700 million valuation, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Founded in 2009, Dataminr automatically trawls social media and other information sources using complex algorithms to identify potential significant or newsworthy posts, and then flags them for its clients in real time. It’s widely used on Wall Street, where having the edge on market-moving news — a fire on a factory, say, or a product recall — can make all the difference.

In 2014, it launched a tool for journalists, identifying and flagging up tweets sent on Twitter relevant to users’ interests — helping ensure they are the very first to breaking news. (It does not, however, verify information, and makes no promises as to the veracity of the messages it flags up.) It’s now used by more than 150 newsrooms across the US (including Business Insider).

It’s also used in the public sector. “Cities, states, parts of the Federal government, both domestic and abroad, are leveraging the unique power of Dataminr today,” the company wrote in a press release, “to receive the earliest possible warnings of disasters and other major incidents in order to better protect their citizens and help save lives.”

Investors in this recent funding round include Credit Suisse, Wellington, former Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack, former Reuters CEO Tom Glocer, and former CitiGroup CEO Vikram Pandit.

The company says the new funds will help the it “meet the tremendous global demand” for its products, “integrate valuable new datasets” into its algorithmic engine, and “expand into new verticals.” TechCrunch reports that this expansion will also include risk management.

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