Earlier this year we looked at The White List, a project that aims to identify interesting new startups by looking at who influential tech investors follow and interact with on Twitter. After seeing some success, it’s now been expanded to track rising hip-hop and electronic music acts.
While it doesn’t look as good and it’s nowhere near as interactive, The White List has an air of Product Hunt about it – albeit an automated version built on the premise that influential people follow startups they’re interested in on Twitter.
There might be something in that too, The White List co-founder Robert Ronaldson says that since May this year, the site’s algorithm has identified 150 early-stage startups. “On average, six months after being White Listed startups raise $340,000, and the startups we’ve had for 12 months (only about 25 of them) have averaged $700,000 in follow-on funding.
“While this is just an average I like to think it speaks volumes about the methodology of using investor behavior (angels and VCs) as a predictor for future success – our rates of follow on funding are better than the vast the majority of VC funds,” says Ronaldson.
If Ronaldson’s math is correct, The White List could indeed be a useful place to track rising startups. Now, the site is expanding to cover music. “Our algorithm aggregates data on the most influential in the music industry (managers, producers, DJs, bloggers, A&Rs etc.) and tracks what they’re following, connecting with, listening to and writing about,” he says. “The ones that get picked up most frequently by our list of influencers make it onto the White List.”
“Anecdotally we’ve had quite a few artists already that have gone to see explosive growth,” Ronaldson adds. These artists include OG Maco, DeJ Loaf, and Bobby Shmurda – currently sixth on the Billboard top 100.
If it can consistently identify hit startups and artists while keeping its algorithm responsive to changing behavior of influencers, The White List may well become an essential place to check up on what’s about to break through. The site definitely needs a more contemporary lick of paint, though.