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Leeds data science business gets off to a flying start with groundbreaking technology platform


A Leeds tech startup which harnesses and analyses data using artificial intelligence (AI) to give decision makers
insights into economic questions is already in profit in its first months of trading.

The Data City is a data science and software company which has created a unique set of tools that provide always-up-to-date analysis to inform investment and growth decisions and accelerate innovation in the UK.

Founders Paul Connell and Alex Craven teamed up with other investors to raise an initial £100,000 to start the company, and the Data City so far has a 100% success rate in bidding for projects, having already won business with a combined value of £300,000.

They are now looking for series A funding of £600,000 early next year to allow them to expand – with the ultimate aim of a seven-figure series B round to help them grow globally.

The company grew out of a longstanding partnership between ODILeeds and Bloom Media, and has built a groundbreaking technology platform capable of using open data and innovative web analysis to find out information such as where businesses operate, what sectors they work in, and the technologies they are using.

The Data City developed the first iteration of its product to produce the Leeds Digital Sector Map on behalf of Leeds City Council, publishing the results openly at DataMillNorth. Over 3,500 digital businesses were identified in Leeds and a total of 8,500 across the region. This was the first time that the Leeds City Region had been mapped in this way, helping cement its reputation as a leader in the digital sector.

Earlier versions of its technology have also been used to help the Digital Catapult to catalogue the Internet of Things (IoT) sector in the UK (IoT National Database), create a UK Tech Innovation Index with the Open Data Institute, which was used in the government’s national Artificial Intelligence Strategy report. The Data City is currently helping MIDAS, Greater Manchester’s Inward Investment organisation, to map the region’s technology sector.

Rather than having to manually curate lists of businesses based on broad-spectrum information such as SIC codes, The Data City’s platform uses a sector mapping tool, capable of assimilating detailed information from company websites and open data sources and analysing their language to understand exactly what they do. This allows them to identify disruptive technology trends and then find businesses associated with them.

It provides results in the form of a website, which is updated in real time, meaning that subscribers can access always up to date, continually evolving information rather than a static report.

Data City Founder Alex Craven says,

“We began by delivering projects on a bespoke basis, but it was obvious that with investment we could build a scalable software platform that would enable us to serve a larger number of clients more profitably.

“The Data City uses a unique platform which processes and analyses data quickly and accurately, drawing on a much wider range of information and applying more sophisticated analysis to provide definitive economic insights, based on information found on the web and through open data channels.

“We believe we can drive economic growth in the UK by providing data-based evidence for decisions which can help businesses expand, accurately identify priority areas for investment and inform economic policy”

Co-Founder Paul Connell adds,

“The Data City platform is important because the people responsible for making decisions and delivering promises about our great cities and places deserve to have the best data at their fingertips.
“We are using data and web-intelligence to do away with wasted time, money and duplication of effort spent evaluating and designing interventions. We are using machines to do the heavy lifting and giving this intelligence to the people who are making decisions and measuring their impact – informed by data that is open for everyone to see”.

Media information and to speak to Alex Craven to find out more about The Data City: Contact Jo Kingston: 07747 464430 or Izzy Roberts 07827 323504