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picture-11Causata, maker of software that allows companies to tightly customize their offerings for their individual customers, has raised $4.5 million in first-round venture funding from Accel Partners. It used the money, closed back in April, to launch its website and lead product: a platform that helps retail and financial companies collect millions of data points about their customers’ interests in order to tailor offerings to their needs in real time.

Founded at the start of 2009, the San Francisco company says it will soon be providing more services for its telecommunications, media and internet clients. Many similar companies have based their user experience data on what people actually buy on e-commerce sites, not what they necessarily express the most interest in. The idea is eventually to have enough information to predict what a user will want to see at any given time or touchpoint before the or she even knows it, and without asking obnoxious survey questions. To do so, Causata combines machine learning technology with enterprise data collection.

The project is still somewhat stealthy, with much more development to come, the company says. Its founder and CEO is Paul Phillips, who also founded TouchClarity — a business analytics and targeting firm — which sold to Omniture for $48.5 million. This seems to be one of its top selling points. Accel’s participation should also led some valuable weight. Two of the firm’s partners have joined Causata’s board, which also includes former president and chief operating officer of Siebel Systems.

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