Gulp Data: How This Company Performs Rapid Data Valuations For Accelerating Data Monetization Efforts

By Amit Chowdhry • Jan 23, 2024

Gulp Data is a provider of data-backed loans and data valuations. The company is powered by proprietary machine learning and can perform rapid data valuations to accelerate data monetization efforts, with the capability to offer non-dilutive loans using copies of the borrowers’ data as collateral. Pulse 2.0 interviewed Gulp Data’s founding partner, Lauren Cascio, to learn more about the company.

Lauren Cascio’s Background

Lauren Cascio

What is Cascio’s background? Cascio said:

“On the one hand, I’m a true technologist and data nerd with a passion for building products. On the other hand, I’m heavily involved with the startup sector, whether that’s founding SaaS companies, managing investments, or acting as a mentor and advisor to other founders.”

“In 2015, I co-founded Abartys Health, and from an operational standpoint, I took the role of COO to deliver innovation and products in line with my skill set as a data technologist. This journey lasted for almost nine years. In 2021, I established Gulp Data, a startup that offers fast, dilution-free funding using data as collateral.”

Formation Of Gulp Data

How did the idea for Gulp Data come together? Cascio shared:

“In my previous company, I led the data monetization strategy. Even though data had become the main source of revenue for the business, there was a big disconnect in how the resource was being treated. The finance team and board members only recognized the revenue it generated and not its actual value as a balance sheet asset.”

“I realized this was also a much wider trend. In today’s digital economy, data is our most valuable resource, but it’s not automatically classified as an asset.”

“I wanted to prove that this asset is liquid and that it has the same benefits, if not more, as almost any of the other intangible assets that are currently recognized under GAAP practices, like patents and copyrights.”

Solution For The Industry Challenge

How does Gulp Data provide a solution to this industry challenge? Cascio noted:

“Gulp Data is on a mission to change the way companies are being financed and help the SME market tap into their data assets to use as collateral or as leverage for negotiations.”

“Historically, the ability to leverage data is limited to major corporations. Without financial industry standards, companies need to conduct a costly intangible asset valuation, a data valuation, or even a standard business valuation, and legacy processes mean the whole exercise can take six months or longer, by which time the data has gone stale and the results are no longer current.”

“Even with an independent valuation, data isn’t widely accepted as collateral with banks and financial institutions. While legacy brands and multinationals have had success here (a prime example can be found with the airlines that pledged their loyalty programs to tap into capital during the COVID-19 pandemic is one prime example), it can be a much harder sale for early-stage companies.”

“Gulp Data is working to close the disconnect between what is valuable to those financial entities and what is actually valuable in today’s marketplace to make it quick, easy, and affordable for startups and SMEs to conduct a data valuation to leverage the resource as collateral for financing.”

Core Products

What are the company’s core products and features? Cascio explained:

“We offer data valuation and productization. With this service, we compare company data against hundreds of thousands of market comps to underwrite data valuation in just a few days.”

“We also offer a direct data lending service. Companies can use their data as collateral and get a pre-approved loan in less than 24 hours. Our ability to underwrite loans expanded earlier this year when we closed on a $25 million credit facility.”

“In addition, we offer data monetization services. This helps companies develop new high-margin data products that generate recurring revenue through our buyer network.”

Challenges Faced

What challenges has Cascio faced in building the company? Cascio acknowledged:

“I would say that a lack of awareness on how data can be leveraged is a big hurdle. Startups and SMEs are responsible for generating a huge percentage of the overall data available globally. Yet, such early-stage companies are often exclusively focused on growth and the success of their core product. Equally, they often lack the tools and resources needed to monetize data.”

“For this reason, market education is really important. Although Gulp Data’s services make it simple and affordable to leverage and monetize data, companies need to first of all be aware that data can be used strategically in this way for business growth.”

Technology Used For Building These Services

What technologies does Gulp Data use to help provide these services? Cascio replied:

“Market-based valuations do not need to be cumbersome and resource intensive – when assisted by AI or ML, they can be completed in a matter of hours to weeks and require limited time from stakeholders.”

“We’ve built machine learning models that tap into the data markets in real time. This allows us to take an actual market comp for a given data set, an ability that doesn’t exist elsewhere.”

“We then bring that market comp back to the company and offer loans against the value. We’re also able to analyze their data infrastructure and offer recommendations from the models to help increase the value of their data sets further or find strategic uses.”

Significant Milestones

What have been some of the company’s most significant milestones? Cascio concluded:

“Since May 2022, Gulp Data has completed over 800 data valuations. Gulp Data’s clients and partners include Fortune 100 companies and preeminent global consulting firms.” 

”And in June 2023, we announced a credit facility of up to $25 million to expand our commercial lending capacity. This means we’re able to offer businesses non-dilutive funding directly from our own balance sheet as well as working with forward flow partners.”

“Looking forward, I’m particularly excited about exploring new ways to help companies monetize their data and strengthen our network of both data lenders and buyers to help the data market mature.”