Platfora, a startup focused on bringing businesses intelligence from big data, raised $5.7 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz with intelligence technology company In-Q-Tel participating. Andreessen Horowitz General Partner Scott Weiss is joining the board as part of the investment.
Ben Werther, founder and CEO of Platfora, explains that Hadoop one of the best options for businesses that manage huge amounts of data because it is low cost and provides a massively scalable data infrastructure. But, he explains that it lacks the interactivity, intelligence and sophisticated reporting capabilities needed by business users. Basically, there needs to be a layer that helps retrieve intelligence and analytics from this data.
For background, Hadoop is a Java software framework born out of an open-source implementation of Google’s published computing infrastructure which is fostered within the Apache Software Foundation. Hadoop supports distributed applications running on large clusters of commodity computers processing enormous amounts of data. For example, Facebook uses Hadoop.
Platfora works with existing Hadoop clusters, including Cloudera, MapR, and Amazon EMR, among others, and automatically turns these huge amounts of data into dimensional and predictive dashboards, reports and insights. The company’s server architecture enables sub-second report delivery, analytics overlay, and drill down performance.
Platfora eliminates the need for traditional data warehouses, ETL tools and the legacy BI products of the past. The company, whose product will go to market in 2012, believes that it can serve a number of companies in industries including web, advertising, finance, telecommunications, logistics and federal intelligence.
Weiss says that Andreessen Horowitz has been sitting on sidelines of making a big investment in Hadoop for some time now. He says that it has been hard to find something valuable to help make Apache Hadoop useful and usable. “This is our big bet on Hadoop, ” says Weiss. Any company that is taking in large amount of data, whether that be from a network, email, or other infrastructure, gaining intelligence from this big data is key.
Weiss also cites the strength Werther as a key factor to the investment. He was a former product head of Greenplum, an analytical database company acquired by EMC.
The venture firm has been generally bullish on big data so the investment in a company that helps make sense of big data isn’t surprising. Andreessen Horowitz led a $25 million round in database company Factual last year.