Techcrunch: Goldman Sachs leads $10 million round for data structuring startup Crux Informatics

Originally published November 8, 2017 at Techcrunch

Author: Jonathan Shieber

“Think of Crux as a Switzerland for data storage and services. The company won’t reveal any information or resell to anyone else the proprietary information it processes and holds for its clients. It’s merely a processing engine for taking the data that big banks and businesses that depend on big data sets need, and crunches that data — reducing it to the metrics that matter most for the clients it serves.”

Business Insider: A startup that wants to help Wall Street clean its data just landed $10 million in funding

Originally published November 8, 2017 at Business Insider 

Author: Frank Chapparo

“However, acquiring data, storing it, and then making sense of it, is a timely process for many firms and often draws resources away from actually figuring out ways to execute strategies based off the data you have. Brittan said he wants to take that non-differentiated grunt work off the hands of Wall Street’s hedge funds, banks, and private equity firms.

“Just like how a logistics firm helps manufacturing company orchestrate supply chains, we are orchestrating the supply chain of data,” Brittan said.

As such, Crux doesn’t just connect its customers with data from providers. Instead, it aims to help guide clients through the entire data supply chain, from acquiring data from providers to cleaning and preparing the data to then packaging it to clients in a way that’s relevant for them.”


Crux Informatics Announces $10 Million Series A Led by Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments

NEW YORK and SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 8, 2017 / PRNewswire/ — With the volume and variety of data exploding year-over-year, extracting value has never been more challenging. Trying to process data into actionable insights is a massively expensive and exhaustive undertaking. With all of this new data, companies’ information supply chains are getting more complex and harder to manage, yet to date, financial firms have generally managed them themselves. That’s why Crux Informatics (Crux) today emerged from stealth mode to announce it closed $10 million in Series A financing, led by Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments (PSI) and other institutional investors.

“The emergence of unstructured data as an important input into the investment process creates a great opportunity for financial institutions, but only if actionable insights can be extrapolated from it,” said Darren Cohen, global head of Goldman Sachs’ Principal Strategic Investments group. “Crux’s innovative approach—coupled with their deep expertise in financial services and capital markets– brings economies of scale that will allow companies to be more agile, inventive and effective with data.”

Simplifying Data

Crux is an informatics company that is a natural outgrowth of the non-differentiated and time-consuming data work companies need to do before they can extract value from their data. Crux helps companies reduce the effort and money spent acquiring, exploring and processing large amounts of data. Crux implements and operates the data processing pipelines they create for their customers’ unique requirements. With Crux, companies can find actionable insights faster and easier.

For data consumers, Crux provides a data engineering concierge service, which delivers easy access to actionable data.

To fuel its customers’ appetite for data, Crux has created a rich network of data content suppliers. The network connects data suppliers with data consumers through Crux engineered supply chains.

Crux’s Informatics Platform offers best of breed technologies to store, explore and transform data. Delivered as an integrated cloud service, the platform makes it easy to develop and manage the execution of industrial grade information processing pipelines for its customers.

Immediate Access to Data Insights

Hedge funds, banks and insurance carriers rely on Crux to help them explore and make use of a wide range of traditional and alternative financially relevant data.

“Gathering information about the world, doing analysis, and driving unique insight is the life-blood of the financial industry,” said Philip Brittan, CEO of Crux. “It is a hard process filled with numerous pain points. Crux is a unique new offering, created to help our clients much more easily find, explore, and make use of relevant data. We take on the burdensome and non-differentiating aspects of our customers’ information supply chains, so they can focus on what really matters for their business. In doing do, we strive to make data delightful.”

A New Solution for Financial Services

Crux’ goal is to solve the pain of data wrangling by helping firms access data with ease. Crux delivers three core elements to address data challenges:

Informatics Platform

Crux offers a secure and scalable environment to store, explore and transform data through its integrated cloud service:

  • Toolset for creating data production pipelines to include data import, analysis, visualization and exploration
  • Rich suite of APIs to connect with best of breed third party services
  • Detailed audit trails, versioning and consumption metrics
  • Controlled access to data through granular entitlements 

Data Engineering Concierge Service

The Crux engineering team of data scientists and data engineers applies machine learning technologies and Crux developed data wrangling tools to organize data at scale to onboard, clean and normalize raw data to make it actionable.

We will:

  • Onboard unique content from a variety of data sources
  • Clean data to remove outliers and inconsistencies
  • Normalize and transform data to meet your requirements
  • Provide operational management and monitoring directly with vendors

Supplier Network

The Crux Supplier Network brings together content from multiple sources and enables in-house datasets to work alongside those from established data providers. The Network enables:

  • Discovery of new and interesting content
  • Evaluation of data sets before making a purchase decision
  • Ability to acquire the dataset directly from the data provider
  • Connection and interaction with a global data-focused community

Crux does not sell or resell any data or analytics—producers and consumers can count on Crux being an objective, neutral partner. Producers have full control over where their data goes. Providers license their content directly to customers and Crux acts as a third party facilitator to wire up and watch over the data pipelines, on behalf of customers. 

About Crux Informatics

Crux was built to solve the pain of data wrangling by helping firms acquire, explore and transform data with ease. Actionable insights are the life-blood of industry and Crux takes on the burdensome and non-differentiating aspects of our customers’ information supply chains so they can focus on what really matters most for their business. For providers of content and analytics, Crux accelerates sales by enabling direct access to target consumers and reducing friction for them evaluating and acquiring content. With the Crux Informatics Platform, customers benefit from a secure and scalable cloud environment to store, explore and transform data. At Crux, we make data delightful. Visit us at


Media Contact:
Crux Informatics
Elizabeth Pritchard


Informatics Firms and Information Supply Chains

Philip Brittan, CEO of Crux Informatics, Inc.

One of the most revolutionary steps in the evolution of manufacturing has been the emergence of sophisticated supply chains. To understand them, first imagine how a person or a firm could create a new product by gathering raw materials and making all the parts themselves. Then imagine how pieces of that process are picked up by others who specialize in various ingredients that go into creating the finished products, such as raw materials providers, tools makers, and (eventually) component manufacturers who create standardized subsets of a product that can be assembled by multiple downstream firms to produce different end products.

Over time the raw materials become more refined (planed lumber instead of timber, jet fuel instead of crude oil, steel instead of iron), and the refiners may in fact be separate companies in the supply chain who take in raw materials and output refined materials, perhaps in several steps by several companies. Over time, tools become more sophisticated and specialized, consuming materials and tools from their own supply chains. Components become increasingly complex and comprehensive (producing larger assemblages), again consuming materials, tools, and possibly sub-components from upstream. With this evolution, manufacturing supply chains have become exceedingly sophisticated and complex, with literally thousands of companies working together to build a car, for example.

One of the key innovations needed to allow this is standards. Thanks to accepted and widely used industry standards, a screw firm can specialize in making screws for a large number of downstream firms, without each screw being a bespoke project. That specialization/focus, and the automation that’s possible when manufacturing standardized components, drives economies of scale and advances in efficiency.

Along with physical goods, supply chains eventually also come to encompass value-added services, such as consulting, metrics gathering, supplier ratings, etc. A special kind of service provider associated with supply chains is the Logistics company. The Wikipedia definition of supply-chain logistics explains that “logistics is the management of the flow of things between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet requirements of customers”. Logistics firms help companies orchestrate, implement, and operate their complex supply chains. They generally work with a network of suppliers that they can bring to bear when helping a firm set up a supply chain. And they have the skills and tools to make sure that the supply chains are operating smoothly, which in the physical goods world frequently involves planning and arranging efficient transportation and storage.

In information intensive industries, such as financial services, processing information to drive valuable insights is the core “manufacturing process”. For example, financial firms of all kinds—banks, hedge funds, research houses, private equity firms, insurance companies, etc.—all take in relevant information about the world, process and perform analysis on that information, drive insights, and take action on those insights. That action can take many forms—make a loan, place a trade, rebalance a portfolio, pitch a client, author a research report, buy a company, underwrite a policy, etc, depending on the type of firm—but all firms have at their core that critical process of gathering information and performing analysis to drive insight.

Over time, the range of information that firms utilize in this core process has grown in volume, velocity, and variety. As such, firms have started to move beyond simply collecting raw material (data), to thinking about their information supply chains, an evolution that closely mirrors what we have seen in manufacturing industries. We are witnessing rapid evolution in the tools that are available to companies to process and analyze data. And a large variety of suppliers, in the form of ‘alternative’ data vendors, have sprung up to meet the ever-expanding needs of financial firms to feed their insight generation processes. One interesting feature of information supply chains is that they may be looping, meaning company A may produce some data (perhaps exhaust from a trading system), feed it to one or more refiners, aggregators, or derived-data producers, who then feed their output back to company A to use in their analytics.

These information supply chains are getting more complex and thus harder to manage, yet—to date—financial firms have generally managed them themselves. This has led to inefficiencies and redundancies across the industry. Every firm has had to become at least basically competent in data management, many have built some form of in-house platform (some well, some poorly) to help manage their data flows. And we are left with a situation where hundreds (in some cases thousands) of firms are wiring up to the same sources of data, downloading the same data, storing the same data, cleaning the same data, mapping the same data etc, independently, redundantly, with no economies of scale.

Just as Logistics firms arose to help manufacturing firms manage their increasingly complex and burdensome supply chains, a new type of firm—Informatics firms—are an inevitable evolution of the market to help companies manage their information supply chains. Informatics firms help companies discover relevant sources of data and help them evaluate that data for fitness to the needs of the firm. They implement and operate the data processing pipelines that are needed to get the information from the supplier to the customer, while validating, cleaning, transforming, mapping, and enriching the data along the way (what we might call Data Engineering) so that it arrives at the customer in a form that is immediately actionable, meaning a firm can do something with it that is pertinent for their business (what we might call Data Science), as is, without requiring further refinement. With a supply chain mentality, Informatics firms pull in the right tools and partners to get the job done.

In effect, Informatics firms ‘manage the flow of information between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet requirements of customers’. Informatics firms can bring economies of scale to the industry by wiring up to a specific source of data once, storing that data once, cleaning that data once, mapping that data once, on behalf of many clients, who can share the costs of those things rather than bearing them independently and redundantly. Informatics firms can also help with the broad implementation of industry standards, which allows for more automation and greater efficiency for everyone.

Firms in information-driven industries, such as financial services, need to think of their core data and analytics workflow as their ‘manufacturing’ process and they need to think about the content that feeds that process as their critical supply chain. As they do so, Informatics firms can help them orchestrate, implement, and operate those supply chains more effectively and efficiently.