Ranker Raises an Additional m from Investors, Expands Platform
Los Angeles-based Ranker recently closed a million followon investment round, adding new funds Lowercase Capital, BullPen Capital, Data Collective. Additionally, all prior institutional investors – Draper Associates, Rincon Venture Partners, Siemer Ventures, TenOneTen, Tech Coast Angels and Pasadena Angels participated in the funding. Ranker will be using the proceeds for hiring, platform expansion, and marketing.
Ranker is a crowdsourced platform that consumers visit 8 million times a month to view, rank, and vote on broad opinion-based topics ranging from the best athletes in history to the best men’s footware designers. The Ranker platform is the best solution for aggregating opinions on any topic that is best answered in list format, for example questions like which cities most deserve an NFL franchise? In some ways, Ranker is a “Yelp for everything else,” though Ranker’s focus is entirely data driven and does not center around reviews or 5 star rating systems. Ranker’s Ultimate Lists get 15% engagement from visitors, who vote on an average of 12 items per ranking.
Launched in August of 2009, Ranker is a high trafficked site (80 million+ monthly pageviews, Quantcast Top 100 for mobile web) that has both entertaining and informative content that is highly participatory to consumers. Ranker’s primary goal is to produce the best rankings humanly possible, using the thesis that the wisdom of crowds is better than any one person’s or expert’s opinion.
Additionally, these millions of precise, granular monthly votes on real-world objects have also built an “opinion graph” (EX: people who like X also like Y, and think Z is expensive). This graph is somewhat different than the “interest graph” concept, in that the focus of Ranker’s graph is precision about consumer preferences using Gallup-sized samples, rather than trying to map the interests of every web user. Ranker leverages semantic datasets from Freebase and Factual for the linked data behind this graph. The company plans to use some of the proceeds from the round to explore business uses for this data – for more details see Ranker’s data blog.
Ranker was founded – and seed funded – by Clark Benson, a lifelong entrepreneur with four prior successful startups, including eCrush, a top 10 online dating service acquired by Hearst in 2007.
Posted On: July 01, 2013