Tuesday, February 12, 2013

(BN) Billionaires Back LinkedIn Alternative That Uses Web Data

(Bloomberg ) Relationship Science, a startup backed by billionaires such as Kenneth Langone and Henry Kravis, unveiled a professional-networking service today that uses Internet research to connect elite decision-makers.

The service will map users' relationships with more than 2 million influential people in the worlds of business, finance and nonprofit organizations, helping them make deals, sell products and raise money, RelSci said in a statement.

RelSci, based in New York, looks to gain an edge on LinkedIn Corp. and Facebook Inc. by not relying on social networks or user-inputted content. The service will cull the Web for relevant information on business leaders and their relationships, and use that research to show how people connect. That means contacts don't need to voluntarily participate to have their information included.

"As someone who has raised capital, extensively engaged in direct selling and built mutually productive partnerships throughout my career, I continuously grasped for ways to better leverage information and my relationships," RelSci founder Neal Goldman, who also co-founded financial-information provider Capital IQ, said in the statement. "I always thought there had to be an easier way to identify and connect with the people and organizations I needed to reach to achieve my goals. So I decided to create RelSci to fill that need."

The company is backed by $60 million from investors such as Langone, Kravis and Hearst Corp. It has more than 500 employees, with 125 at its New York headquarters, RelSci said.

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