Editor’s note: Startup Spotlight is a regular feature at WRAL TechWire designed to bring attentionn about potential emerging stars in the North Carolina innovation economy.


DURHAM – Working as part of the Peace Corps in Cameroon in the early 2000s, Meghan Corroon witnessed first-hand the need for reliable data. Without it, she recalled, critical funding got wasted trying to bring clean water to villages.

Years later, she saw similar challenges while running large-scale projects for The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as several national governments in Africa and Asia.

“I was increasingly frustrated with the pace of innovation,” she told WRAL TechWire.

So she founded Clerdata, formerly Lumen Insights. It’s a Durham-based data science startup that aims to bring change – this time to the corporate world – by ending ineffective marketing strategies.

Rather than a cluttered dashboard that still doesn’t answer the most important questions,  Corroon said Clerdata’s product offers sophisticated modeling that is “fast, lean, and automated.”

In a survey of 1,000 marketers worldwide by Rakuten Marketing, respondents estimated they waste an average of 26% of their budgets on ineffective channels and strategies. And about half of respondents said they misspend at least 20% of their budgets.

Corroon, who interviewed businesses across industries for over a year before launching, said she heard similar testimonies “from very small to multi-billion-dollar businesses.” In today’s world of advanced data science and business insights, she said she couldn’t believe this was still the case: “We built Clerdata to tackle this problem.”

Clerdata founder Meghan Corroon

Clerdata offers a marketing tool that tells customers which digital marketing channels are driving their sales. It operates using a proprietary algorithm that includes statistical modeling to tackle the question of marketing action effectiveness on sales in brick-and-mortar stores, as well as e-commerce. This allows customers to move more quickly from insights to business decisions, Corroon said: “We believe that’s the future of SaaS data products.”

It also avoids using consumer web tracking data.

“This is a huge deal as Facebook lost 10 billion in ad revenue just last quarter due to this increasingly faulty data pipeline. This problem affects almost every consumer business in our modern economy.”

Clerdata is already reaping the rewards. Since launching in 2018, its team has grown to five employees and projected revenue growth is expected to be “over 700%” this year.

Clerdata team

It has a growing list of clients, including Raleigh-based Videri Chocolate Factory; nationally distributed Mary’s Gone Crackers; Peacock Alley, a luxury linens company; and Healthy Living Market, an independent grocery store chain, among others.

To date, the startup remains bootstrapped with no help from outside investors. But Corroon said she won’t rule that out in the future.

“We’re hyper focused on running our own race and serving our customers a product with integrity,” she said. “We’re excited for the future of this adventure.”