Ben Harknett


Ben Harknett.

A San Franscicso software startup founded by alumni from the world’s largest hedge fund is expanding into London.

Domino Data Lab, a software company for data science teams, has hired Ben Harknett, who previously worked for Google, to lead the move. 

Harknett previously headed the Europe, Middle East and Asia division for Wildfire, a social media marketing company that Google bought in 2012 for $ 350 million and later wound down. Harknett later helped build out operations for cybersecurity firm Risk IQ.

At Domino, Harknett will build out operations and customer service for the company’s European clients, with offices near London’s Liverpool Street, he told Business Insider.

Domino Data Lab is riding the wave of interest from companies – from hedge funds to banks and travel companies – to parse through enormous amounts of data to make decisions.

The company styles itself as a software suite for data science teams, similar to how Adobe is used by creative professionals and Salesforce by marketers.

“Companies need a place to track and hold the research related to their modeling,” Nick Elprin, Domino’s CEO, said.

For investors parsing through data, tracking that research can help them make better investment decisions, he added.

Domino Data Lab was started by three alumni from Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, including Elprin, who previously worked in technology at the fund.

Matthew Granade, who now oversees big data at Steve Cohen’s family office Point72 Asset Management, cofounded Domino and remains on the board. Granade previously co-headed research at Bridgewater, according to a LinkedIn page. Domino’s chief technology officer, Chris Yang, previously was a software developer at the fund, according to a LinkedIn profile.

Domino has also garnered the backing of several tech investors.

Hedge fund Coatue Management led a $ 27 million funding round for Domino, for instance. Other investors have included Sequoia Capital and In-Q-Tel, the Central Intelligence Agency’s venture capital fund.

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