Platfora, a company that helps customers process and make sense of big data, announced a $30 million investment today.
The round includes money from new participants HSBC and Harmony Partners with contributions from earlier funders Allegis Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Citi Ventures, Cisco, Sutter Hill Ventures and Tenaya Capital. The most recent investment before today was $38 million in March 2014. With today’s haul, Platfora has received just over $95 million to-date
CEO Jason Zintak says that he was particularly pleased with the investment from HSBC because they, like earlier investors Citi and Cisco, are also customers. The customer investors give his company a kind of insight that venture capitalists can’t provide when it comes to enhancing and improving the overall product, Zintak explained. They also provide valuable entree to a variety of divisions and departments inside large organizations like HSBC.
Platfora has been designed to work with big data, what Zintak defines as a petabyte or larger, on a variety of platforms including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Hadoop. It helps business analysts make sense of a variety of data sets without the help of data scientists or IT.
At a basic level Platfora does three things: it prepares the data for analysis. It then processes the data in an in-memory database and perhaps most importantly it provides a visualization layer for business analysts and others to view the data in meaningful ways.
Once IT has set up the platform, users can get to work exploring. The data prep and processing happens in the background as the analyst points to different sources to build a set of data they wish to work with.
Once that process is complete, they can view the data in various ways in charts and graphs as you would expect.
Competitors include traditional business intelligence vendors such as SAS, SAP BusinessObjects, IBM Cognos and so forth. It also could compete with visualization vendors such as Tableau, Qlik and others in that space.
As for the money, Zintak sees using it in various ways, but particularly to enhance his company’s worldwide market. Platfora already has a London office, and he plans to expand further in European markets in the months and years ahead. He also has been getting interest in Asia, and the company intends to explore that further as the market develops.
Platfora currently has 150 employees and Zintak could see adding 100 more over the next 12 months to take advantage of greater than 100 percent year over year revenue growth, as well as 100 percent increase in customers. Zintak reports the company currently has over 100 customers and he plans to use the money to beef up sales and customer support to keep that momentum going.