25 June 2015 15:32

One of the world’s biggest companies has recognised Relative Insight as a top 50 global tech marketing start-up.

Unilever’s Foundry 50 has chosen Relative Insight, which started life in Lancaster University’s School of Computing and Communications, from more than 3,000 start-ups in marketing, research and data science.

Relative Insight uses innovative analysis software to help brands turn language into data. Dimensions such as demographics, groups and time are all automatically analysed to help brands identify and understand relevant audiences and to maximise their engagement strategies.

The company was started by former Lancaster University researchers Dr James Walkerdine and Dr Phil Greenwood, who originally developed the technology to help law enforcement identify criminals online.

Working in partnership with Lions Innovation, Unilever set up the Foundry initiative to find the top 50 new marketing technology companies that are “innovating to help brands better connect, engage and relate with people.”

Dr James Walkerdine, Chief Operating Officer at Relative Insight, said: "We are incredibly honoured and excited to be part of Lions Innovation. It’s been a remarkable 12 months for the company, and it's great that our ongoing unique collaboration between the University and Relative Insight has resulted in this level of recognition."

Relative Insight’s software is also used by students studying Marketing at Lancaster University Management School (LUMS), giving them valuable real-life skills.

Richard Meek, from LUMS’ Department of Marketing, said: "Relative insight is to be congratulated on achieving wider industry recognition of their innovative technology, which our students have been excited to experience in the last year.

"Competitive success is increasingly dependent on technological competence and consequently now an important part of marketing education."

All the start-ups had to meet the following criteria: be innovative and distinctive from competitors already in the market; relevant and interesting to the brand and marketing industry; established within the past five years; and raised less than $10 million in equity funding.