dscout, a Chicago startup that helps companies better understand how consumers experience their offerings through mobile videos, raised a new round of funding to help it grow its staff and build out new product offerings.
The startup closed a $7.5 million Series B round led by Detroit-based Beringea, with participation from Chicago-based private investment firm Synetro Group, which led dscout’s two prior financing rounds. The startup now has about $11 million in total funding.
“dscout’s innovative approach to consumer research helps some of the world’s most influential companies make smart decisions faster,” said Michael Gross, the managing director of Beringea, in a statement. “We’re proud to help the dscout team build on its track record of research industry disruption and outstanding SaaS execution.”
dscout, which spun out of consulting firm Gravitytank in 2013, provides a video research platform to its clients that enables them to better understand their consumer base. Product, research and insights teams from corporations subscribe to dscout, which enables them to capture people’s real-life experiences, reactions and thoughts to a service in the moment and context in which they occur.
“As companies spend more and more time focused on customer and user experiences, that becomes more of a critical part of how businesses compete and succeed today,” said dscout Founder and CEO Michael Winnick. “The sort of information we provide becomes very critical to the way they operate. Our core mission is to help our customers deeply understand people.”
Winnick said the new funds will be used to grow its sales and marketing team, and expand its product offerings by enabling them with machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities.
“If you’re a data business and you’re not involved with or working on machine learning and artificial intelligence initiatives, you’re really off trend,” Winnick said. “It’s a very fruitful area for us in terms of what we think it can do across the products that we have.”
The startup, which employs about 60 people in its River North offices, has hundreds of clients, including Salesforce, Sonos and Lyft, and has more than 150,000 consumer users.