Groupon Inc (NASDAQ: GRPN) co-founders Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky have a new business venture that's already valued at $2 billion.
The company, Uptake Technologies Inc., recently received $40 million as part of a Series C financing round that was led by Revolution Growth, an investment firm co-founded by Steve Case, Don Davis and Ted Leonisis. The investment implies a valuation of $2 billion, an increase from the $1.1 billion it was valued at in October 2015.
"Uptake's proprietary technology can provide enterprise-wide insights, such as predictive diagnostics and fleet optimization that have the potential to save companies significant costs while improving productivity, reliability, and safety," Revolution's Ted Leonsis commented in a blog post. "Currently, available data analytics for companies in iconic industries remain largely unintegrated or are outright unheard of, which is why Uptake is helping to transform not just one, but many industries through next generation technologies."
As noted by The Wall Street Journal, Keywell and Lefkofsky's new venture sells predictive analytics software that collects and interprets sensor data. The company sells to the mining, rail, energy, aviation, retail and construction industries and hopes to leverage data to improve safety, efficiency and productivity for their clients' operations.
Keywell explained to WSJ what makes Uptake unique in the face of competition from large companies such as Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) and General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). He said his employees are sent directly to the field to observe fast hand the needs of its client base.
"We give [our data scientists] steel-toed boots," Keywell emphasized. "That's part of the uniqueness of being in Chicago."
Uptake Technologies' other investments include Lefkofsky's own investment firm Lightbank, New Enterprise Associates, and one of its notable clients and industry titan Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT).
Uptake's revenue run-rate exceeds more than $100 million a year and future rounds of financing are expected.
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