Text Analytics startups

I made a comment on the analyst panel at the end of day 1 about the emergence of startups in this space that I wanted to qualify, as it’s caused a bit of confusion here at the Text Analytics Summit. The other three panel members said they are seeing startups while I said I’m not and nor are VC customers asking about them in the way they did a few years back. I said that partly to shake up the panel a bit as we were agreeing on everything until then, which isn’t that interesting for the audience ;), but I meant it in a specific way.

The main area where text analytics-based startups have emerged in the last few years is in sentiment analysis, in areas such as opinion mining, buzz, product/service reviews and advertising targeting. Many of these apps are being used by enterprises for sure.

But what I was referring to is that I’m not seeing companies offering text analytics tools (whether on-premise or on a SaaS or cloud basis) that can be used as the basis of text-aware or search-based applications. I am seeing a lot of demand and interest in those apps from enterprises (our main focus here at 451) but  the tools to build them are not coming from startups.

Instead they’re coming mainly from more established search, content management and eDiscovery-focused companies (with one or two notable exceptions, such as Attivio and Digital Reef in the past two years). There is probably room for more startups in this space, that’s for sure.

More on what has been a great conference so far later.

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#1 Larry levy on 06.02.09 at 7:17 pm

Nick, couldn’t make it up due to Internet week I’m NY. What made it so special this year? More apps, more corps using Text Analytics?

#2 Nick Patience on 06.03.09 at 12:33 pm

@Larry Levy – more to do with more end users as a proportion of the total attendees.