StreetBees, the London-based tech startup, has received backing from Skype’s co-founder among others in a fundraising round that amounted to $12m (£8.6m).
The Atomico of Niklas Zennstrom led the round, with the participation from some existing investors including Octopus, BGF Ventures, and LocalGlobe.
The company has a network of global users who are paid to share the moments from their lives on a chat-style app. The real-time data is then converted into insights for brands via a machine learning technology. The customers include L’Oreal and Unilever.
Tugce Bulut, the Founder, said that the money would help in doubling the workforce of the company in the coming year to 150. However, she said that it was already becoming more difficult to hire engineers after the Brexit vote
Regarding the challenges of starting a tech business, she stated: “Your biggest challenge is always being able to hire engineers for the business.
“We are obviously very pro EU and it was amazing to have access to the entire workforce of the EU when we started in London. It’s a little bit harder now because you have to go through immigration.”
StreetBees, however, already has an office that is located in Lisbon, which Bulut disclosed will help the company to negotiate about Brexit. It is also opening the first New York office of the company using the new funds.
The Atomico partner who led the investment, Carolina Brochado, stated: “With Streetbees, we have found the world’s first real-time technology-enabled customer insights platform – giving brands dynamic responses, from real customers, for a fraction of the cost and time taken by traditional incumbents.
“Streetbees has fundamentally changed the way international companies can engage and understand their global consumer base.”