Investors place $25M on AtScale to get the big picture of big data

AtScale, a four-year old startup that helps companies get a big-picture view of their big data inside their BI tools, announced a $25 million Series C investment today.

The round was led by Atlantic Bridge with participation from new investors Wells Fargo and Industry Ventures along with returning investors Storm Ventures, UMC, Comcast and XSeed Capital. With today’s investment, the company has raised $45 million.

AtScale founder and CEO Dave Mariani was one of the big data pioneers at Yahoo in the 2009 and 2010 timeframe and he saw a big problem with big data. He was able to use Hadoop, which was originally developed at Yahoo about that time, to extract big data, but when it came to translating that much data for business users, there was a problem.

It required taking the data and reducing the scope to make it useable for the business intelligence tools that line of business employees were using. “I spent my time making data small for analytics. It was like sipping data through a straw,” Mariani explained. He felt it was a wrong-headed approach, and as more companies faced the same issue, he saw a business opportunity if he could figure out a solution.

“A sense of urgency comes from [big data] pioneers who took a leap to big data and implemented Hadoop. They have this ‘Oh shit!’ moment where they realize none of their BI tools can talk to this, and they can’t provide any value. They are looking for a solution to that problem,” he said.

AtScale purports to solve all of that by providing a middleware type of solution. It allows companies who have been dealing with data snapshots, instead of the whole picture, to present the data to BI tools in such a way that they don’t have to settle for that small data view.

“We take a bunch of data silos and put a semantic layer across the data platforms and expose them in a consistent way,” Mariani said. That allows companies to see all of the data without cutting it into small chunks to make it work across these disparate sources.

While data is the lifeblood of any organization, Mariani says that companies like Home Depot, Allstate, Kraft-Heinz and American Express have been willing to take a chance with a startup because there simply are no big companies solving this problem right now and there is a real pain point inside these companies.

The company launched in 2013, and they have been selling the solution since 2016. They currently have 95 employees, but that is likely to increase over the next given the new influx of capital.