The Berlin-based data training startup StackFuel just secured seed funding, which increased their total funding volume to about €500K. Investors include FX Ventures, Adviqo founder Sylvius Bardt, quofox CEO Frank Mies, and some other German business angels.
Founded in 2016 under the name dataX Academy by Leo Marose and Stefan Berntheisel, StackFuel recently also won Telefónica Germany as their first big corporate client. Telefónica’s venture unit Wayra will also include StackFuel in its new accelerator program. With the new capital, StackFuel will expand its trainings and win over more major customers.
According to a recent McKinsey study, Germany alone lacks 95,000 data experts. In order to be internationally competitive and innovative, companies collect data, but are often missing the required expertise. Counteracting this skills shortage of big data analysts is the goal of the Berlin-based startup StackFuel. The concept: Instead of offering theoretical offline courses as done up to now, the meanwhile 9-member strong team creates a learning environment with practical online trainings. In doing so, StackFuel is a pioneer in implementing data literacy in companies.
“With the help of complex data analysis and artificial intelligence, we gain important insights for all business units. In doing so, we are better enabled to meet the requirements of a new generation of customers,” said Thorsten Kühlmeyer, Head of Business Analytics & Artificial Intelligence at Telefónica Germany. He continued: “For this, we have to train our data experts continuously, for instance in coding, modeling or data visualization. StackFuel has developed an interactive learning environment that meets our needs as a digital business. Working with StackFuel is already a lot of fun, and I am very confident that their platform provides the right innovative learning format for our co-workers.”
With the online training provided by StackFuel, Telefónica will train the staff of its Business/Artificial Intelligence department. The three-month, on-the-job trainings take between four to six hours per week. Using real data records from the telecommunications market, employees learn how to use Python for data analysis, i.e. perform statistical operations and visualize data. The video trainings are offered in StackFuel’s Data Lab, a real programming environment. Another aim is to continue the cooperation with data science training.
StackFuel CEO Leo Marose stated: “Storing ever larger amounts of data shapes companies sustainably. Although the majority of decision makers are aware of the pressure to act, large amounts of data remain unused because of the missing data expertise. However, the example of Telefónica shows how today’s skills shortage can be handled in a solution-oriented manner. Our training concept is particularly interesting for many medium and large sized companies that recognize the potential of interactive training.”
The demand for skilled data analysts is also reflected in the international market. In the US, 2.7 million data experts are lacking, in Europe the scenario looks similar. As early as 2020, the big data growth market is over $61 billion, with experts estimating annual growth as high as 30 percent.
StackFuel CTO Stefan Berntheisel explained: “The strongest competitors in Germany are mainly operating in the offline segment. For companies, this kind of further education is cost and time consuming because they have to send employees to external trainings. That is why StackFuel is now rolling out their training across Europe and are continuing to establish itself as a leading provider of data analytics.”