Austin’s data.world Finds Success as a B Corp Bringing Together Data Users on its Global Platform

Brett Hurt, founder and CEO of data.world

Austin-based data.world had its best year ever in 2019, said Brett Hurt, CEO, and Co-Founder.

“2019 will go down in history as the year data.world found enterprise product-market fit and revenue has taken off in a big way,” Hurt said.

data.world is like GitHub, the world’s largest software development platform, but it’s an open platform focused on data sets. It has built a collaborative data resource that is used by researchers, journalists, universities, companies, and others. It also mirrors the U.S. and U.K.’s open data portals, data.gov and data.gov.uk.

And last year, data.world launched its enterprise-grade software as a service data catalog.

That product took off after data.world bought Capsenta, which was founded at the University of Texas at Austin in 2015. Capsenta brought its data integration software, Ultrawrap and its real-time collaborative, knowledge graph schema modeling tool Gra.fo to data.world. And Juan Sequeda Ph.D. joined data.world as a principal data scientist.

“It was a huge breakout year for us on the enterprise side

with fortune 500 companies,” Hurt said.

Tens of thousands of companies are using data.world for their own internal private data community and to collaborate around, Hurt said. data.world also integrates with data programs like Tableau and Snowflake, he said. And two-thirds of the integrations have been built by the companies connecting these open data sets to their tools, Hurt said.

data.world team photo, courtesy photo

data.world also announced Tuesday that the company has successfully received recertification as a B Corporation by B Lab. A B Corp is a for-profit business that is certified by the nonprofit B Lab. It means the company voluntarily meets higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance.

data.world has been a B-Corp since it launched in 2016. It is one of only 17 Austin-based Certified B Corporations and was named a “Best for the World” honoree in the governance category by B Lab in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

data.world is bringing together people globally to collaborate on data sets addressing some of the world’s biggest problems including poverty, nutrition, and climate change, Hurt said.

“We’ve become the world’s largest collaborative data catalog and community,” Hurt said.

Since data.world became a B Corp other technology companies have followed. Osano, a data privacy company that is part of the Hurt Family Investments, launched as a B Corp. And another one of Hurt’s portfolio companies is in the process of converting from a limited liability company to a B Corp., Hurt said.

“That’s one neat thing that has happened,” Hurt said. “We’ve become a bit of an example – it’s a much more soulful and better way of being.”

“The world is becoming a place where people care about intentionality and business and why not build that into the business from the beginning,” Hurt said.

And data.world’s general counsel testified in the Texas House for the passage of the public benefit corporation law. In 2017, Texas was the 37th state to adopt the B-Corp law.

“You never know where good intentionality is going to take you – it’s been a decision we’ve made since the beginning of the company that has unintended consequences,” Hurt said.

For example, the government of Mozambique is using data.world’s platform to share open data sets, Hurt said.

“I have a call every week with some large organization like the new data science institute at the University of California at San Diego – they are trying to put something like what we do out in the world and they are looking for a platform like ours,” Hurt said. “I know that because we are a B Corp that has led to a lot of those partnerships. It’s led to this beautiful place where a lot of people proactively reach out to us because we’re a B Corp.”

Being a B Corp. has also helped with recruiting, Hurt said. Millennials and Generation Z really care about the purpose of a company, Hurt said. data.world has 60 employees based in Austin.

data.world is Hurt’s sixth company as an entrepreneur. It is scaling rapidly and even faster than Bazaarvoice, his last company, he said. The company has raised $44.7 million to date.

 “It took two and half years of enterprise selling to get to that kind of global agreement at Bazaarvoice – at data.world, it has taken less than one,” Hurt said.

data.world has signed one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S. as a customer, Hurt said. It also signed its first global agreement with one of the largest companies in the world where any of its brands can come on board, he said.

During the last three days, data.world has been rolling out to over 30,000 people worldwide at one of its enterprise customers, Hurt said. The companies don’t want their names publicized because data.world gives them a proprietary advantage, he said.