Twitter acquires data visualization startup Lucky Sort for … revenue engineering?

Image Credit: Lucky Sort

Twitter has acquired data visualization startup Lucky Sort, possibly to bolster its ad sales and reporting tools.

CEO Noah Pepper announced the acquisition this afternoon on the Lucky Sort’s website. The company has been building a visualization and data navigation engine called TopicWatch, which can discover real-time patterns in streams of data, and took in $500,000 in seed funding from Neu Venture Capital in early 2012.

The startup had operated in stealth mode, but it caught the attention of investors and the press when it raised seed funds from a roster of “big data” experts, including chaos theory physicist Dr. Norman Packard.

Pretty clearly, there’s a strong Twitter tie-in, as Twitter is nothing more than a live stream of data, continuously updated by millions of people. Where Twitter will use the technology was not fully disclosed, but Pepper did offer a hint.

Several of us will be moving to San Francisco to join Twitter’s revenue engineering department, so if you’re in the neighborhood and want to talk about text mining or data visualization, give us a shout.

Twitter has been beefing up its ad tools in the past few months, releasing new functionality for keyword targeting, self-service tools for interest, platform, fan, and gender targeting, and more. And as it ramps up for a possible IPO this year, it needs to give advertisers even better tools for placing, targeting, and evaluating their Twitter ad spend. It’s likely that Lucky Sort technologies will be helpful for that purpose.

In any case, the existing Lucky Sort toolset will be shut down, Pepper stated:

We’ll be helping current customers transition off our system in the coming months such that we can focus fully on our future at Twitter.

Twitter has been acquiring small companies at a fairly rapid pace lately, having just acquired big data startup Ubalo. And in 2012, Twitter was the fourth-most acquisitive company, buying a total of 10 startups and ranking just behind Facebook, Google, and Groupon.

Here is Lucky Sort’s full announcement:

Lucky Sort acquired by Twitter!

Two years ago I started Lucky Sort with several friends. Our goal was to make huge document sets easier to analyze, summarize and visualize by building elegant and user friendly tools for text analysis.

Today I’m very excited to announce that our journey has entered a new phase: Lucky Sort has been acquired by Twitter!

Several of us will be moving to San Francisco to join Twitter’s revenue engineering department, so if you’re in the neighborhood and want to talk about text mining or data visualization give us a shout.

We’ll be helping current customers transition off our system in the coming months such that we can focus fully on our future at Twitter.

In building Lucky Sort we had an enormous amount of support from friends, employees, advisors and investors. It has been uplifting to have so many people help us and it highlighted just how much business is a social endeavour.

Best,

Noah Pepper
Chief Executive Officer
Lucky Sort


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