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Issa Rae Acquires Stake in Streamlytics, a Streaming-Media Data Startup

Actress and creator Issa Rae is getting into the streaming data and analytics business.

Rae has taken a minority stake in Streamlytics, an L.A.-based startup led by tech entrepreneur Angela Benton, which is aiming to democratize access to streaming media data — with a specific focus on providing data that better reflects the usage of people of color.

“As streaming services become the standard for how people consume content and information, tools and companies like Streamlytics are necessary for transparency and consumer ownership,” Rae said in a statement. “Angela’s drive and innovative spirit is the reason why she is a pioneer in the tech space and why I’m excited to partner with her in this endeavor.”

Streamlytics was founded in 2018 by Benton, who previously founded NewME, a venture-capital accelerator that helped minority tech entrepreneurs raise over $47 million in funding. Benton declined to say how much Streamlytics has raised to date or the amount of Rae’s stake.

To compile its data, Streamlytics is building a panel of users who share their data via one of its consumer-facing products. After cleaning and enhancing that data, the company issues a data license that specifies that the user owns this new data set and Streamlytics purchases the data from them. Currently, Streamlytics is pulling data for Netflix viewing and plans to next incorporate Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and social platforms like Facebook Watch and Instagram’s IGTV, according to Benton.

Regarding Rae’s investment, Benton said, “Having Issa involved as an owner is beyond exciting. Her pioneering work as both a creator and as a businesswoman creating digital-first content that has transcended the internet-only medium aligns seamlessly with our company’s core values on ownership.”

For her HBO comedy series “Insecure,” Rae has received an Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations for best comedy actress. She rose to prominence with her web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” and her YouTube channel “Issa Rae Presents” has over 450,000 subscribers. Her first book, a collection of essays also titled “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” was a New York Times bestseller. Rae made her film debut in the acclaimed drama “The Hate U Give,” and most recently starred in Universal Pictures’ “Little.”

Streamlytics’ first consumer-facing application, Clture, focuses on helping minority consumers own and monetize their data. The startup also intends to sell anonymized data and analytics insights to studios, TV networks, producers, agencies and creators, and plans to launch a service letting consumers access their own streaming-media data.

“Essentially, our focus is on providing transparency on what people are streaming, and taking consumers through the process of helping them own their data,” Benton said.

The company is based in Culver City, Calif., and has nine full-time employees. Benton believes there’s a big market for data to track streaming services and cited Nielsen research finding that African-Americans overindex on media consumption across all media types compared with other demographics.

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