Dunn, Humby target social media

dunhumbyEdwina Dunn and Clive Humby are branching out yet again, this time throwing their weight behind social network analytics firm Starcount, just three months after making a seven-figure investment in theatreland data specialist Purple Seven.
The husband and wife team, who made an estimated £93m from selling DunnHumby to Tesco, have now joined the board of Starcount as executive directors and taken a “significant minority equity stake” in the business.
Starcount, which aggregates data and trends across the world’s 11 most popular social media networks, has acquired the pair’s new H&D Ventures business as part of the deal.
The company publishes daily charts of the world’s most popular brands and stars, as well as their biggest fans, based on analysis of 1.7 billion social media users’ activity across the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and Sina.
Dunn said: “Social media has thrown up an intriguing new hypothesis for data analysts – that networks are to a very significant extent driven and influenced by a very small pool of users, in a way that could never have been possible before the Internet.
“This creates huge opportunities for both brands and their customers – to create a social loyalty currency which will allow companies to properly understand and engage their digital audience.
“We strongly believe that social media offers the base to create more targeted and user-­friendly loyalty relationships, and look forward to exploring this hypothesis with Starcount.”
In March, the duo claimed they could unlock £250m worth of commercial opportunities for theatreland, by improving the way theatres market to their audience. They had finally severed all ties with their eponymous agency in February.
Starcount is also finalising a $5m (£3.25m) investment through Artemis, Praetura Capital and Morgan Stanley senior advisor Christopher Carter, who will become chairman.
“With the world-class experience of Edwina Dunn, Clive Humby and Christopher Carter, we are aiming to change the rules of social engagement, and make sense of the billions of new fans social media has created,” said Starcount group chief executive Drew Thomson.

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