Cambridge Analytica may be out of business thanks to bad publicity, but "Emerdata" is a new company, whose board includes the daughters of Robert Mercer, who bankrolled Cambridge Analytica; disgraced former Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix is on its board of directors, and much of Cambridge Analytica's C-suite has packed up their desks and moved into the Emerdata offices.
The company was formed in August 2017 and has been largely dormant until March 2018, when a flurry of activity that moved key personnel over from Cambridge Analytica began.
It isn't clear what Emerdata does, though the company is listed under "data processing, hosting, and related activities." It shares an address in Canary Wharf with Cambridge Analytica's parent, SCL Group.
Another notable company director is Johnson Chun Shun Ko, the deputy chairman of Frontier Services Group.
Frontier is a private security firm which mostly operates in Africa and is currently chaired by US businessman and prominent Trump supporter Erik Prince. Prince is best known for founding private military group Blackwater US and is the brother of US education secretary Betsy DeVos.
The power players behind Cambridge Analytica have set up a mysterious new data company
[Shona Ghosh/Business Insider]
The public markets are hungry: as Uber and Lyft look to IPOs to let their investors -- who have been subsidizing 40-50% of every ride -- redeem their shares through sales to the public capital markets, the companies are desperate for ways to reduce their unprofitability and increase those share prices.
Pepsi's plan to pay a Russian company called Startrocket to loft an artificial constellation of cubesats with mylar sails to advertise a "nonalcoholic energy beverage" has been cancelled for unspecified reasons (the company says its prototype launch using high-altitude balloons was a "one-time event").
* whether they deserve one or not
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