Big Data Leader Cloudera Raises $65M To Fuel Further Hadoop Adoption

Cloudera has raised $65 million to further fuel Hadoop adoption and expand its European operations. The new round led by Accel Partners, brings the total raised to $140 million. Existing investors Greylock Partners, Ignition Partners, In-Q-Tel and Meritech Capital Partners all participated in the round.

Cloudera has established itself as one of the true leaders of the big data movement. The company pioneered the use of Hadoop, top-tier Apache Foundation distributed-storage and data-analysis open source technology. Cloudera offers its own Hadoop distribution for enterprise customers that it will further develop with the new funding.

Cloudera says sales, customers, employees and data have all doubled in the past year under current management. Its customer base includes AOL (TechCrunch’s parent company), CBS, EBay, Morgan Stanley, and The Walt Disney Company. The company is not disclosing its actual revenues, according to AllThingsD, which broke the story today.

Cloudera’s customer list exposes the company’s strengths and its weaknesses. The strengths lie in offering the technology and the expertise to large enterprise customers. Its weakness is in the manpower and resources it costs to set up a Cloudera cluster.

New players in the market are tackling the same problems that a Hadoop installation can solve but at a fraction of the cost and with no need to hire highly sought data scientists, engineers and operations pros. Treasure Data, for instance, borrows from Hadoop but its service does not require an infrastructure investment.

Cloudera is making pains to make its technology easier to use. It has partnerships with such companies as Dell, which offers a Cloudera Hadoop configuration packaged with its servers. The packaging helps remove some of the complexity that comes with integrating Hadoop in the enterprise.

The Hadoop marketplace has diversified over the past few years. Last year, Yahoo spun out its Hadoop group to new startup HortonWorks. EMC’s Greenplum now has a Hadoop integration for its data analytics solutions. IBM Infosphere has also invested deeply in Hadoop. Other startups to watch include Map R, Pentaho, Datameer and Cleversafe.

But the market is gigantic, considered to be as large as $50 billion, according to Wikibon’s Jeff Kelly. and Cloudera has the leadership to steer to an IPO or a massive buy out. All Things D reports the company is now valued at $700 million.

Cloudera CEO Mike Olson was formerly CEO of Sleepycat Software, which was the creator of the open-source embedded database engine, Berkeley DB, which was acquired by Oracle in 2006. Earlier this fall, Cloudera hired Jim Frankola, the former CFO of Yodlee and Ariba.

The Frankola hire raises questions about Cloudera’s plans that possibly could mean an IPO. That’s a likely scenario and also points to an expected market consolidation that we should expect in the next two years.