People Data Labs, which offers data as a service via APIs, raises $45M

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People Data Labs (PDL), a company that’s setting out to create a “single source of truth” for B2B data products based on 3 billion people’s profiles globally, has raised $45 million in a series B round of funding.
Founded out of San Francisco, California in 2015, PDL has built a duo of APIs for developers, engineers, and data scientists to access people-related data. This includes an enrichment API, for those seeking to augment their existing records with additional data; and a search API for those wishing to query PDL’s full dataset without hosting any of the data themselves. Users can specify the full search criteria and parameters, so they can find the people relevant to their project.
In its six-year history, PDL has amassed a fairly impressive roster of clients, including IBM, Kleiner Perkins, and The Home Depot.
In terms of use-cases, well, sales and marketing teams can leverage PDL data to improve their existing qualified leads, or recruitment headhunters might use PDL to enrich the data they hold on potential candidates. But it can be used for anything from fraud detection to market research.
“We take the complexity out of dealing with large datasets — we gather our data from disparate sources, ensure it is compliant and accurate, clean it up, and furnish it to engineers and product developers in a form this is flexible, reliable, and easy to use,” PDL cofounder and CEO Sean Thorne told VentureBeat.
PDL gets the majority of its data from a so-called “data union,” which is essentially a proprietary data-sharing cooperative that bundles disparate data pools to enable any (paying) third-party to unlock insights. PDL’s data union includes B2B data sources spanning multiple verticals, including human resources, real estate, identity and fraud detection, marketing, among others. In addition, PDL also uses public and open source data sources to fill in some gaps.
“Some datasets are provided as a one-time dump, while others are refreshed every time we do a new data build to ensure freshness and accuracy,” Thorne added. “We focus on B2B data including resume, contact, social, and demographic information reflecting much of the world’s professional population.”
PDL fits into a broader trend that has seen numerous data-as-a-service (DaaS) platforms emerge to arm companies with better data. Just last week, Lusha raised $205 million at a $1.5 billion valuation to help sales teams find accurate B2B contact information, while sales intelligence platform Apollo.io recently secured $32 million in funding. On the surface, B2B data giant ZoomInfo is perhaps most closely aligned with what PDL is doing, except PDL is aimed at developers and engineers rather than sales teams.
“We provide similar data [to ZoomInfo], but most of our customers use our data to build and expand their products, rather than to pull lists of sales contacts,” Thorne explained. “Our competitive landscape can be a bit misleading — it’s difficult for us to discuss competitors directly because many companies that appear to offer a competitive product are actually clients using our data to power their own offering.”
Prior to now, PDL had raised around $10 million, and with another $45 million in the bank the company said that it’s well-positioned to expand its product further across fintech, fraud detection, investment research, and risk mitigation, as well as double its headcount to 160. The company’s series B round was led by Craft Ventures, with participation from Flex Capital.
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