Mayfair 101 managing director James Mawhinney speaks to Proactive Investors about the international boutique investment company's recent big data play, in the form of a strategic $10 million investment into US tech company Public Democracy.
“Public democracy approached us for some funding to help them develop an application that would facilitate, effectively, real-life data collection and interaction, and obviously feed that into not just a start-up database, but actually an existing enormous database full of very high quality content… it has 114 million US citizens on there including close to 15 years’ worth of behavioural and attitudinal data, longitudinal data relating to those individuals, including their thoughts and reactions to content that’s been distributed to them over the last 14 years or so… So it’s super high-quality opt in database,” Mawhinney explains.
Public Democracy is already undertaking trials to help one of the largest sporting organisations in the world convert their billion social media fans into commercial users, with a formal engagement expected to be announced soon.
Beyond deals such as these which monetise data in relatively traditional ways, Mayfair 101 sees an opportunity to incorporate big data in the digital currency space. Mawhinney says, “data is the new gold. We see that there’s potentially a way that we could actually underpin a new monetary system, and almost create a global or a universal unified, people-run monetary system, almost like a reserve bank, to issue digital currency that would be underpinned by data. That’s really where we see a massive opportunity, and are very pleased to have made this investment and be working with everyone from public democracy.”