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Digital Reasoning Systems names new president
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DRS's Metcalf

Update: DRS Oct. 9, 2014 announced raising $24MM in a Series C round led by Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse NEXT Investors, noting that previous investors have included Partnership Fund for New York City, Angels with Nashville Capital Network, Tennessee Angel Fund (a TNInvestco), and NCN Angel Fund II, among others. TechCrunch and other data suggest DRS has raised more than $30MM since inception. DRS was also a 2012 graduate of the NYC FinTech Innovation lab.- Ed.

Digital Reasoning Systems Inc., a knowledge-discovery and analytics software and services company, has named a former LexisNexis executive its president.

Rob Metcalf, formerly a vice president of global operations for LexisNexis in the Raleigh, N.C., area told VNC this morning he joined the Cool Springs-based firm in December.

Metcalf, now 33, also worked for LexisNexis in Mexico. He earned his bachelor's in history at Princeton University, in 1998, and his MBA at Harvard University in 2004.

DRS Founder and CEO Tim Estes has not yet responded to a VNC query this morning regarding the appointment of Metcalf.

In 2004, Estes incorporated DRS as a Tennessee company. He had founded the venture at Charlottesville, Va., in 2000, the same year he earned his bachelor's in philosophy at the University of Virginia. Estes (right) was born in Nashville. He is the son of DRS Co-founder and board secretary Dorothy 'Dot' Currey.

The DRS website indicates the company's board of directors includes Joseph Anderson, Maj. Gen., USMC (Ret.); UVA economics professor Kenneth G. Elzinga; Michael Miller, formerly a senior sales executive with Juniper Networks, Managed Objects and Computer Associates; and, attorney William Tucker, of the Charlottesville law firm Tucker Griffin Barnes. Estes has often mentioned Prof. Elzinga's role in encouraging him in his early academic and venture pursuits. Elzinga's Virginia webpages indicate his primary interests are antitrust economics; and, religion and economics. DRS also has an advisory board.

In recent years, DRS has at times attempted to secure venture capital - Sequoia Capital of Menlo Park, Calif., was at one point mentioned publicly in that context, but no investment in DRS was ever confirmed. Earlier reports indicated the company at one time had more than 100 friends, family and-or angel investors.

DRS has also been working at least four years to increase its marketing and product development for the business sector, leveraging the experience and scale it gained through years of collaboration and sales with U.S. military branches and federal agencies.

Among milestones announced in recent years, DRS said in 2007 it had been award a U.S. patent "covering technology that enables intelligent machines to understand the meaning of terms and symbols found in the context of unstructured data, including natural human language."

In addition, in 2006, the company announced a strategic partnership with Battelle Science and Technology International, a unit of the Ohio-based Battelle research trust. At that time, the company reasserted its oft-voiced goal of using its technology to serve pharmaceutical, biotech and other life sciences industries. Estes has also previously indicated interest in serving the legal-services sector and other industries that deal with massive amounts of structured and unstructured data.

Earlier reports about DRS over the years have cited ties to the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM); the Army's Foreign Military Studies Office; the Missile and Space Intelligence Center at Redstrone Arsenal; and, the Joint Warfare Analysis Center. Online research provides no clear sense of the status of any such relationships DRS might still have.

DRS has seldom released information about development, customers and contracts, however one government-contracts tracking site indicates DRS may have, at a minimum secured direct contracts totaling as much as $7 million, and may have obtained additional subcontracts. Another story published in 2006 indicated DRS contracts with the U.S. intelligence community were projected to be valued at roughly $11 million, cumulatively.

In 2009, a DRS press release indicated the company has a key value-added reseller agreement with Intelligent Decisions, based Ashwood, Va., near the nation's capital.

Digital Reasoning is now quartered at 730 Cool Springs Blvd. in Franklin, having earlier been officed in Green Hills and on West End Avenue.

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Tags: Battelle Science and Technology International, capital, Digital Reasoning Systems, Dot Currey, FinTech, Goldman Sachs, homeland security, intelligence, Joseph Anderson, Kenneth Elzinga, knowledge discovery, Michael Miller, Nashville Capital Network, national defense, natural language processing, NCN Angel Fund II, Partnership for New York City, Rob Metcalf, Sequoia Capital, startups, Tennessee Angel Fund, Tim Estes, TNInvestco, venture, William Tucker

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