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Pittsburgh data company Niche raises $6.6 million, plans to hire 20 people

Aaron Aupperlee
| Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, 4:45 p.m.
Niche, a data company that gathers information on schools and places to live, expects to grow to about 80 employees by the end of the year. (Photo from Niche)
Niche, a data company that gathers information on schools and places to live, expects to grow to about 80 employees by the end of the year. (Photo from Niche)

Niche, a Pittsburgh data company that gathers information on nearly every school, college, university, neighborhood, town and suburb in the country, expects to outgrow its Shadyside office this year as it adds employees.

The company announced Monday it raised $6.6 million and expects to hire more than 20 people by the end of the year.

“It's really starting to gel and come together right now,” said Luke Skurman, CEO of Niche. “We're working on something pretty ambitious.”

Skurman said the funding and growth will allow Niche to provide more data on the K-12 schools, college and universities and neighborhoods, towns and suburbs. Niche could also branch out into other categories of information, though Skurman wouldn't go into further details.

Niche scrapes information from publicly available data sets like school information from the Department of Education, crime statistics from the FBI and demographic information from the census. It adds in its own proprietary data to create a robust listing for schools and communities.

“We get our hands on so many datasets,” Skurman said. “It's not for the faint of heart.”

The site creates lists of the best places to live, the safest places to live, best places to buy a house, the most diverse places, the best public schools and the best places for millennials.

Niche has more than 120 million reviews and opinions, Skurman said. Its site is near the top of Google search results for schools, colleges and universities and in queries like “Best place to raise a family in Pennsylvania.”

Niche was founded in 2013. The company has 56 employees. Skurman hopes to have about 80 by the end of the year. The whole team will stay in Pittsburgh.

“We want to build a great company here,” Skurman said, adding that he is a Carnegie Mellon University graduate as it much of his team. “We have an amazing team that can stack up against any team. We couldn't be happier.”

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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