Data Science Meets the Question of Where(?)

Today we announce our investment in Niche, a consumer platform designed to help with life’s questions of where — where to live, where to send your kids to school, and where to go to college. We have all seen the growth of consumer destinations that use the wisdom of the community to provide decision support. Car Gurus is the most recent example of the value of solving consumer decision support with data, rankings and reviews, but look no further than the massive value created by companies such as Trip Advisor, Glassdoor, and Yelp to see that proprietary consumer data has captured the interest, participation and value.

At Niche, which is based in Pittsburgh near Carnegie Mellon, was founded by CMU grads who have applied data science to the blending of proprietary data with many public sources. This brings unique credibility to their products that are resonating with consumers. The company had over 50 million unique users last year, and counts one in every two college bound students among their registered users for just their college destinations alone.

The management team is executing on their growth strategy, and see quite clearly the opportunities to expand their product set and coverage universe. The founder, Luke Skurman, represents what we like to invest in, a hands-dirty, gritty founder who sees the future through the lens of daily measured progress.

We were thrilled to participate in the Series B round of funding, which we co-led with Allen & Company, LLC. We are joining the board and are incredibly excited to help Niche guide millions of consumers make the biggest decisions of their lifetime with the best information, and enable thousands of organizations engage with consumers at the right time, in the right way.

To learn more, visit or simply search the web for your college, High School, or Neighborhoods. You will be impressed with how quickly you find relevant Niche data. Make sure to follow @NicheSocial, and us at @Grit_vc.