Alteryx, a company that has been providing a way to build analytical apps from a variety data sources via a workflow interface, got a big boost in funding today, announcing a $60M Series B round.
The round was led by Insight Venture Partners with participation from existing investors SAP Ventures and Toba Capital. Their most recent round prior to this was $12M Series in May, 2013. The additional money brings their total funding to date to $78M and suggests that investors have confidence that this market will grow.
And apparently with good reason, Alteryx reports that it currently has 600 customers, a 200 percent year over year increase.
Interestingly enough, Alteryx president and COO George Mathew doesn’t see the company competing with the usual Business Intelligence suspects, whether that’s more modern platforms like Tableau and QlikView or more traditional enterprise players like SAP Business Objects (where Mathew came from), Oracle Hyperion or IBM Cognos. Instead, Mathew says his company can work as a layer on top of existing tools and he says, they are partners with Tableau and QlikView, so he doesn’t see them as competition at all.
“As you are seeing this market emerge, it’s not about central IT, but about how end users are enabled and empowered. We stand for that and are focused on key capabilities and experiences. That’s why the cooperation [between us and other BI vendors] works.
That’s because Alteryx is a tool for working with data once you have a set of data sources. It allows you to create a workflow by dragging in various data sources and other objects. You can then package this design into an application which you can share with others or you can use it to generate reports, pivot tables or whatever you require.
The apps are what really differentiates this company though and they have created a marketplace to share or sell them at gallery.alteryx.com and it provides a head start for less technical users or companies that a need a particular type of report and don’t want to reinvent the wheel.
One interesting outcome of this approach according to Mathew is that third parties like Deloitte, Boston Consulting Group and KPMG have been creating customized Alteryx apps and this has provided them with a growing customer base. In fact, Mathew reports that BCG has 20 percent of its workforce working on Alteryx on a daily basis and this translates into new business.
As an example, BCG just landed them Mercedes in Brazil. He said they have no presence in that country or with the company, but BCG built an Alteryx app for the car maker and this provided Alteryx with inroads into this entirely new market through an OEM like BCG.
Alteryx currently has around 200 employees focused mostly on North America, but intends to use the new funding to expand their internal research and development along with international sales and marketing efforts. The company opened a London office earlier this year, and with the additional money from this funding round they plan to add additional sales staff.
One of the reasons this space will continue to expand, even though it has existed for so long in various guises, both installed and run by IT for many years, then in the cloud more recently, is because up until now this type of data analysis has been mostly limited to specially trained analysts and data scientists.
Mathew says the market has much more room to grow because tools like Alteryx provide a way to simplify and package this type of data analysis and bring it to the more general business user, and that should naturally increase the size of the market as that happens.
Over time, it’s likely we will begin to see consolidation just as we did with the early players, but for now, Mathew says the new round of BI players are still in the early stages and it should take some time before we see that type of shakeout we saw in the earlier generation of BI tools.