7Park Data, a provider of alternative data, insight and analytics software, recently announced the addition of former GLG executive Jim Sharpe as COO to scale operations and lead go-to-market teams. In addition, 7Park launched its new Discover data marketplace, including a few new datasets.
7Park’s Newest Hire
7Park Data announced that Jim Sharpe, the former GM and Managing Director of GLG’s Financial Services business, would be joining the firm as COO to scale operations and manage go-to-market teams as the firm expands its product line.
Sharpe spent over 12 years at GLG covering two separate tints with the firm. Previously, Jim spent over 4 years at Standard Purification as Chairman and CEO, eventually selling the firm to a European chemical company. Earlier in his career, Sharpe was founder of Lux Capital and spent over 12 years as Director and on the Board of Directors of Lux Research. He started his career on Wall Street as an investment banking analyst at Salomon Smith Barney. Jim graduated from the University of Virginia with a BS in Commerce and a BA in East Asian Languages and Finance.
Brian Lichtenburger, CEO and cofounder of 7Park Data explained the new hire, “I am thrilled to welcome Jim Sharpe as COO to help us build the organization required to meet demand for our datasets, products and platform. Jim has an incredible track record of scaling teams and accelerating growth, and we’re eager to leverage his experience to operationalize go-to-market efforts across verticals and create exceptional experiences for our clients.”
“This is an extremely exciting time to join 7Park Data, in the midst of rapid growth across all parts of the business,” said Jim Sharpe. “In my career, I’ve had multiple opportunities to build teams that drive growth from early stage to growth phase and beyond. I’m excited to bring that experience to bear as 7Park Data enters a new era, fueled by their partnership with Vista Equity Partners and the immense appetite for decision-ready data to drive better business decisions.”
Launch of New Platform & Datasets
In addition, 7Park has launched its new Discover data marketplace, enabling clients to seamless access unique datasets organized, structured and linked to a common symbology thereby enabling them to more quickly analyze and make business decisions.
The Discover platform features datasets with clearly identified merchants, products and other entities, cleansed to create a unified nomenclature, enriched at the item level with contextual data including category, company and ticker, and organized into a machine-readable format for rapid ingest and onboarding. Two of the newest datasets that 7Park will be releasing on the Discover platform include Enterprise IT Spend and Hospitality Point of Sale (POS) data.
“Our customer base is growing in size and diversity, and they share the need for decision-ready data to inform critical business strategies,” said CEO and cofounder Brian Lichtenberger. “We’re launching Discover to reduce the time and effort required to find unique datasets ready for immediate analysis. Discover empowers customers to extract unique value with minimal data prep by providing datasets that fill the gap between completely raw, unstructured information and highly curated, productized outputs.”
The hiring of Jim Sharpe, launch of the Discover marketplace, and release of two new proprietary datasets all reflect the impact of Vista Partners’ acquisition of 7Park Data late last year. 7Park management explained that since the acquisition they have been focused on laying the foundation for the firm’s planned growth.
As can be seen from the chart above, 7Park Data’s headcount has grown steadily in the 6 months since the Vista acquisition. According to LinkedIn, staffing at the firm has grown 30% since December 2018 from 50 employees to 65 employees today.
It’s interesting to note that the three areas where 7Park has grown the most in the past 6 months has been sales (+150%), marketing (+25%) and business development (+22%). Clearly, the addition of a highly experienced manager like Jim Sharpe makes a lot of sense to provide leadership to this team as the business looks to grow its top line of financial services, corporate and enterprise platform customers.
At first blush, it seems a little strange that 7Park Data decided to launch a new data marketplace at a time when a number of markets already exist. However, 7Park management noted that Discover was created primarily as a tool for their financial services and corporate clients to be able to quickly find and make use of 7Park datasets. Currently, 7Park is planning to add datasets from other Vista portfolio companies, but has no immediate plans to add external third-party datasets. In fact, 7Park is planning to distribute its data via other data marketplaces like BattleFin’s Ensemble platform.
We suspect that today’s announcement is likely to be the first of many as 7Park adds staff and rolls out new data and software products for both the financial services and corporate client base. Given Vista’s support, we would not be surprised to see 7Park be actively involved in the consolidation in the alternative data space as they try to round out their product portfolio.