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Our Story

The unpredictable journey to prediction

One night in a Toronto bar, our founders, Steve King and Hugo Amos, had their ‘eureka!’ moment… to predict consumer behaviour.

Having scribbled the idea down on the back of beer mat (now pride of place in our London reception), Steve and Hugo returned to the UK to start what became the UK’s fastest-growing tech start-up, Black Swan Data.


What’s in a name?

As likely as a black swan… this phrase was a common expression in 16th London as a statement of impossibility.

Londoners had only ever seen white swans. A black swan was believed to be an impossibility. However, when Londoners discovered black Swans in Australia this changed the perception of swans forever.

Black Swan Data was founded on a belief that brands can make better use of data to help not only avoid ‘black swan moments’ in your own category, but anticipate them and mould them to your own advantage.

“We started Black Swan Data because we felt there had to be a better way for businesses and brands to make use of the mass of data available to them. Data is largely irrelevant unless you can harness its power effectively.” Steve King, Co-Founder & CEO, Black Swan Data

The journey so far

2011 Founded in LondonFirst customer: Predicted box office sales for Disney
2012 First employee: Rio Fear, Data ScientistFirst product launch: NEST
2013 Founded Aviation divisionRaised £2m Series A funding
2014 Cited as ‘One to Watch’ by The Sunday TimesOpened California officePredicted the first BBQ weekend of the year for Tesco
2015 Awarded Sunday Times’ #1 fastest growing Start-UpOpened New York City office
2016 Raised £6m Series B fundingAwarded Sunday Times’ #1 fastest growing ExporterPredicted Cold & Flu outbreaks for GlaxoSmithKline
2017 Ranked in
Deloitte’s Fast Technology 1000
Ranked 6th fastest growing European SME in Financial Times 1000Identified opportunity for PepsiCo Bubly launch
2018 Launched trend prediction tool: TrendscopeAviation division relaunched as ‘Fethr’White Swan Charity officially recognised
2019 Launched spin-off technology: Dragonfly AIConsumer Insights division rebranded