Rhiza Blog Announcements

Radically Innovating! Rhiza accepted into the BBC Worldwide Labs program.

BBC Worldwide LabsSelected from over 100 companies, Rhiza has been accepted into the BBC Worldwide Labs program – one of the first 3 American companies ever admitted to BBC Labs. The startup accelerator program allows the BBC to stay on the forefront of innovation in technologies that matter greatly to their business by forging close relationships with innovative and disruptive technologies. For those accepted into the program, BBC Labs is designed to help startup companies reach their next level of growth and showcase the impact of their product.

For Rhiza this is a tremendous validation of our value proposition and an opportunity to expand. The BBC uses Rhiza to gain insight into their audience, a departure from Rhiza’s traditional use case of arming sales teams with powerful presentation tools. The BBC has an immense amount of data, including novel facial recognition data that measures people’s reaction to a program. This data is then easily imported into the Rhiza tool allowing the BBC to make sense out of profound custom survey data. This data can then be explored, manipulated and presented by members of the BBC Customer Insights team –
no data science degree required. As David Boyle of BBC Worldwide puts it, Rhiza democratizes data and making it accessible and usable throughout his organization.

Every year the BBC Labs program selects 6 companies to work within the BBC eco-system. These companies benefit from BBC infrastructure, conference rooms in the BBC London, New York and Los Angeles offices, and they are connected with mentors and potential business partners. The goal of the program is to strategically partner with and support the most innovative up-and-coming digital media companies that are helping to define the emerging digital landscape. Lucy Fredericks, Programme Manager, BBC Worldwide Labs said: “As with each BBC Worldwide Labs program, we hope this year’s intake will empower us to push the boundaries of innovation, to disrupt the markets in which we operate and challenge us to adopt new ways of working.

Find more about BBC Labs Worldwide.

Pittsburgh-Based Startup Rhiza Closes $3 Million Funding Round to Accelerate Growth

User-friendly and intuitive marketing analytics platform funded by first outside investors

rhiza-new-logo-154x105PITTSBURGH – June 17, 2014 – Rhiza, the leading provider of marketing analytics tools that make Big Data actionable for marketers and salespeople, announced today that it has closed a $3 million Series-A funding round led by Pittsburgh-based Draper Triangle Ventures with participation from Arthur Ventures, and Camp One Ventures. The capital will fuel Rhiza’s ongoing growth by building out its sales, marketing, and customer service teams to meet the demand in the market for its product.

Rhiza’s product suite increases revenue for both media companies and advertisers by delivering detailed recommendations based on integrated consumer insights. Its platform is used by a rapidly growing list of notable customers, including Comcast, Univision, Cox Media, Cox Reps and Experian.

“Our priority is to help our customers move beyond dashboards and utilize our powerful analytics platform to make smarter decisions that propel their businesses forward,” said Rhiza CEO Josh Knauer. “Thanks to the infusion of capital from Draper Ventures, Arthur Ventures and Camp One Ventures, we will not only be able to better serve our current clients, but also reach new audiences and refine our innovative tools for visualizing, analyzing and sharing data.”

New product developments have expanded Rhiza’s suite of analytics to include tools that rapidly develop marketing plans, support multi channel media buys and create visually compelling, data-driven marketing and sales collateral. Rhiza’s latest product release revolutionizes the way users interact with their data, making it simpler to find answers to their toughest questions about how to reach and influence consumers.

“Rhiza is disrupting the marketing analytics industry with intuitive tools for marketers and salespeople across the entire enterprise at a fraction of the cost,” said Mike Stubler, Managing Director at Draper Triangle Ventures. “Without taking any outside capital, the company has operated very efficiently since it was founded, and has achieved amazing success serving some of the largest media brands. Rhiza’s technology, culture, business acumen, and vision for growth made it a perfect fit for us.”

“After years of working with some of the largest media companies and brands in the world, we’ve learned to optimize our platform to quickly provide great tools our customers need,” said Knauer. “This infusion of capital will help Rhiza strategically expand our sales and marketing efforts to broaden our customer base while expanding our ability to provide excellent service to our clients.”

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About Rhiza
Rhiza is an emerging leader in the field of marketing analytics, offering online tools that make Big Data actionable for marketers and salespeople. Rhiza’s tools increase revenue for both media companies and advertisers by delivering detailed recommendations based on integrated consumer insights. Media publishers use Rhiza to arm their salespeople with better tools for selling premium advertising. Marketers use Rhiza to optimize hyper-targeted media buys, track campaign effectiveness and quickly create new marketing plans. Rhiza’s SaaS-based software is used by a rapidly growing list of notable customers, including Comcast, Univision, Cox Media, Cox Reps and Experian.

About Draper Triangle Ventures
Draper Triangle Ventures is a premier source of funding for early stage high-technology companies in the Midwest. As the Midwest-based partner of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Draper Triangle offers entrepreneurs a host of benefits unrivaled in the industry. For more information, visit drapertriangle.com.

About Arthur Ventures
Arthur Ventures is a venture capital firm with offices in Fargo and Minneapolis. The firm was founded in 2008 by James and Doug Burgum (Chairman – Atlassian, Chairman – SuccessFactors, CEO – Great Plains Software). Arthur Ventures specifically invests in software companies and is currently investing out of a $45M fund raised in 2013.

About CampOne Ventures
Camp One Ventures (C1V) partners with leading emerging growth businesses in the mobility, software-as-a-service and financial technology segments. C1V provide companies with the venture capital and support they need to build world class businesses. Portfolio companies of C1V include Aarki, Credit Sesame, One Inc. and Ripple Labs.

Rhiza CEO to be Keynote Speaker at Carnegie Mellon Event

Josh Knauer, Rhiza’s CEO, will be the keynote speaker at a Carnegie Mellon University event that is intended to help inspire students and alumni to build their careers by featuring alumni “who have successfully and interestingly navigated their way forward.” The event is titled Under Construction: Building Your Future and happens this Saturday, February 23rd. Read more about the event.

Rhiza on the Move… No really, we’re moving

For those of you who have been following Rhiza for a while, you know that we’ve been growing quite a bit. We opened a new office in Seattle late last year, and now we are proud to announce that we are moving our Pittsburgh office to a new location to accomodate for our growth. The Pittsburgh Business Times got the scoop on the story today and helped us spread the word that we are the anchor tenant in the newly formed Revv Oakland co-working space.

Our new offices are in the heart of the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, which contains both Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt). This will allow us easier access to CMU and Pitt researchers and students, access to over 20 public transportation routes and provide a tremendous number of food/shopping options for our team.

More than just location, as an anchor tenant for Revv Oakland, we are helping to support not just our own growth, but that of other tech startups in our community. Rhiza will be working closely with Revv Oakland to provide greater networking and skills sharing opportunities, so that tech startups will learn from Rhiza’s experience and we can learn from them.

With a growing list of new clients like Comcast, PepsiCo, Dun & Bradstreet and more, we’re going to need the new space and look forward to expanding our footprint and creating new jobs in the community.

Introducing Rhiza Upshot

For years, Rhiza has produced one of the best online mapping applications on the market. Rhiza Insight is used by our customers to bring location intelligence to their operations and sales departments.

Our customers challenged us to meet more of their needs and we listened. We’ve produced a new version that is still incredibly easy to use and now offers a greater range of tools:

  • online presentations
  • powerful charting features
  • mobile data collection
  • collaboration and sharing tools
  • and of course, amazing online mapping capabilities

To celebrate, we are relaunching our flagship product with a new name: Rhiza Upshot

Why Upshot, you ask? After talking to our customers about what they love most about our product, we learned that Rhiza Insight helps them get to the upshot of complex scenarios quickly. We invite you to join Rhiza’s growing list of customers like Comcast and the U.S. Department of Energy who turn to Rhiza when they need online tools for data analysis and vibrant presentations.

Visit our new website where you can watch our latest video, download a brochure or request a live demonstration. Let us know what you think!

Rhiza Announces Opening of West Coast Office in Seattle

West Coast office helps Rhiza support growing market demand for easy, online location intelligence tools for streamlined business decision-making.

Photo credit: Seattle Summer by .Bala via flickr

Pittsburgh, PA (December 5, 2012) – Rhiza Labs will celebrate the opening of operations in Seattle in January. While Rhiza’s headquarters will remain in Pittsburgh, PA, the addition of a West Coast office will help Rhiza provide better service to its existing and prospective clients in the West.

“We are excited to engage more directly with innovators on the West Coast who support Rhiza’s mission of moving business analysis solely from the control of analysts and geeks into the hands of executives, salespeople and project managers.” said Josh Knauer, Rhiza CEO.

Rhiza’s cloud-based tools help clients like Comcast, the U.S. Department of Energy and Dunn & Bradstreet embrace data-driven decision-making. Rhiza’s clients sell more effectively through micro-targeting, evaluate key performance indicators faster and discover new business opportunities.

Rhiza also announced it has named Maryl Widdows as Vice-President of Sales and Marketing to help lead the West Coast expansion. “Maryl has been a member of the Rhiza management team from the beginning. She brings a deep understanding of the business intelligence challenges our customers face and will be able to provide a high level of personalized service to our West Coast customers.” said Knauer.

About Rhiza

Winner of InfoWorld Magazine’s Top 10 IT Project Award, Rhiza is an acknowledged innovator in the design and deployment of online tools for decision-makers.  Rhiza’s location intelligence applications integrate and illuminate data from a variety of sources, providing meaningful ways for businesses to better understand their customers, assets, operations and stakeholders. For more information about Rhiza, visit www.rhiza.com

*UPDATE* Coverage of this story in: Pittsburgh Business Times, Puget Sound Business Journal and Directions Magazine

MAYA Companies Moving to Downtown Pittsburgh to Accommodate Growth

Rhiza’s parent company, MAYA, announced that it was moving all of the MAYA Companies to downtown Pittsburgh. I didn’t think this was a big news story, but apparently Marketwatch decided to publish the news. The expansion of the MAYA Companies into a downtown skyscraper is just one indicator for how well the companies (including Rhiza) are doing and how much growth we’ve all experienced. Feel free to read the full article to get all of the details.

Rhiza CEO Co-Authors Presidential Report on Ecosystem Protection

For over a year, I’ve been serving on a working group of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Our working group was comprised of leaders from educational and non-profit institutions, as well as corporations large and small, who all had expertise in matters of ecosystem preservation, environmental economics and information systems. During this time I’ve had the privilege of working with these people to draft a set of policy recommendations that were recently presented to President Obama.

The result of our work, titled Sustaining Environmental Capital: Protecting Society and the Economy, has now been published and is available online. While the details in the report are quite dense, the content is quite important for several reasons.

First, there is a clear focus on explaining the measurable economic value of ecosystem preservation which goes far beyond the traditional arguments for protection that focus on nature’s intrinsic values. The report explains that the deterioration of “natural capital” (or ecosystems) has led to large scale economic impacts on society. Some examples include the degradation of wetlands leading to massive flooding and damage to the built environment, depletion of fisheries from coastal wetland destruction and rising healthcare costs due to increased exposure to toxins. These are all issues that many of us who have worked on ecological issues know, but bringing them to the forefront of national policy debate at the Presidential level is very important.

Another important point that is made in this report is that the solutions to these problems need to involve federal government action. In my opinion, far too many short-sighted people rush to the conclusion that because there may be waste in some government budgets, that government’s role in solving some of humankind’s largest problems must be reduced. Waiting for industries to self-regulate to adequately protect the public commons that ecosystems represent is not a prudent path forward. The report makes several recommendations for specific improvements to government agencies that oversee ecosystem protection and reporting, while also outlining multiple ways that corporations and non-profits need to be involved.

The area of the report that I had the most influence on has to do with the collection, analysis and reporting of ecological data. Many of our recommendations in this area are focused on how to make ecological data more accessible, published in a timely manner and flow among federal agencies as well as the private sector. I am especially proud of the inclusion of many of the tenets of open and transparent data that were promoted to the top-level recommendations the report makes. Agencies can save tremendous amounts of money by pooling technical resources, conducting data collection and publishing in an open and transparent manner. For example, the report included detailed recommendations that included publishing data in machine-readable, interoperable formats and promoting best practices in data interoperability such as the use of universally unique identifiers for data records. Further, the report points out that many agencies that deal with ecosystem data are not making use of existing open data initiatives such as Data.gov. Further recommendations are included for improving Data.gov so that it is more widely adopted and useful. I never expected these type of “in the weeds” recommendations to be included, but am very happy to see how seriously they are being taken.

While publishing a report itself is not going to change the world, I was very heartened throughout my interactions with White House staff, policy makers and agency leaders, at how open they were to new approaches to solving these problems. There is a deep level of scientific knowledge and curiosity that exists at the highest levels of our government, which gives me hope that we may soon get on the right track towards triple bottom line policies that equally value preserving ecosystems, human health and our economy.

I would also like to thank the many staffers at the White House and the Office of Science and Technology Policy that helped our working group at every step of the way. The interactions with my fellow working group members, as well as the PCAST members who helped guide us, made this experience a truly rewarding one.

At Rhiza, Every Day is Take Your Kids to Work Day

Today is Take Your Child to Work Day, but that’s every day for me! Rhiza has a great “Babies to Work” program which means that our employees can take their infants to work with them up until they are six months old. Ada is nine weeks old and she has been coming to work with me since her third week. I have paid maternity leave, but rather than take it all at once, I chose to taper up my time at work, going from very part time to nearly full time. I’ve managed to keep up with work projects, but keep my schedule to infant-sized portions.

Ada eats, naps, and plays at the office. Most of my programming work and testing gets done when she’s sleeping or eating, but I also spend plenty of time rocking her or taking her for walks. She spends a lot of time strapped to me in her baby Bjorn so she can be as close as possible and I can still have two hands for typing.

Thanks to flex time I don’t worry too much about squeezing 100% productivity out of my workday. I can always save work time for evenings when I have my husband to take over care.

However, I would say that this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done (I’ve stopped to feed her twice just in the time it’s taken to write a few paragraphs). Software Engineering is certainly challenging and combining it with something even more difficult like, say, parenting a tiny child is kind of nuts. Ada has done her best to be an accommodating baby, she sleeps at night and isn’t much of a crier, but I’m still thankful that there is a private nap room that I can hide in for the worst stuff.

Still, I feel like I have the best of both worlds. I get to spend all day with my baby and I get to do my awesome job.

Is there anyone else out there who mixes babytime with work? How does it work for you?


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