Dr. Mike Lynch, founder and former CEO of Autonomy, has extended his investment in Featurespace, a predictive analytics startup co-founded by his former Cambridge statistics professor.
Featurespace’s software uses a mathematical technique called Bayesian inference to make predictions from data. Unlike traditional predictive analytics techniques, which make a specific prediction based on incomplete data, Bayesian inference calculates a probability distribution based on whatever data is available and refines the distribution as more data is added.
The company was started in 2005 by Lynch’s former PhD supervisor, Professor William Fitzgerald, and one of his PhD students at the time, David Excell, with Lynch as an early investor. Its customers include short-term lender Wonga, spread-betting company IG Index and bookmaker William Hill.
Today, Featurespace announced that it has raised a further round of funding, worth £1.5 million, from a group of investors including Lynch. "We are already gaining good customer traction with our products, and this investment enables us to further build our team and sales capability to support our growing business through the next stage of our development," said Excell in a statement.
Autonomy’s information management technology is also based on Bayesian inference, using probability to spot matches between unstructured data sources.
Last month Mike Lynch left Hewlett-Packard, which acquired Autonomy in 2011, after what HP CEO Meg Whitman called a "very disappointing quarter" for the company. Lynch is seen as a luminary of the UK technology industry, and speculation has been rife as to what he might do next.