Acryl Data raises $21M to grow its enterprise data catalog platform


Abstract big data image
Image Credits: koto_feja / Getty Images

With the explosion of different kinds of data, companies are struggling to realize meaningful value from their stored data. Data teams are overworked — forced to cater to the needs of disparate departments within an organization while trying to maintain data policies consistently.

That’s the shared thesis of Shirshanka Das and Swaroop Jagadish, at least, the co-founders of Acryl Data, a startup providing tools to help companies organize and ostensibly better manage their data. Acryl today announced that it raised $21 million in a Series A round led by 8VC with participation from Sherpalo Ventures and Guillermo Rauch, founder and CEO of Vercel, bringing its total raised to $30 million.

Prior to launching Acryl Data, Das was a principal staff software engineer at LinkedIn and, before that, a member of the technical teams first at PayPal and then at Yahoo! (full disclosure: TechCrunch’s owner). Jagadish came to Acryl by way of Airbnb as well as LinkedIn and Yahoo!

“Acryl Data is a community-driven metadata platform that delivers central controls across the decentralized data stack,” Jagadish, the CEO, told TechCrunch in an email interview. “With a mission to bring clarity to data, Acryl offers a data catalog with solutions for data discovery, governance, lineage and observability.”

What exactly is a data catalog? Well, it’s an inventory of data assets in an organization. Data catalogs consist of metadata in which definitions of database objects are stored, such as base tables, indexes, users and user groups.

Data catalogs are a dime a dozen — see startups such as Castor, Stemma, Select Star and Alation offer them, to name a few. But Jagadish argues that Acryl’s approach offers several key advantages over rivals.

Chief among them, Acryl’s platform — which is built on the open source framework DataHub — operates on “event-driven” metadata. By only performing operations when triggered, Acryl can reduce the cost of data catalog maintenance while enabling a range of trigger-based workflows, Jagadish claims.

“The explosion of data over the past decade has led companies to embrace a range of new technologies, but has created a fragmented data landscape as well,” he added. “Some problems got easier, like data orchestration, transformation, storage, movement and visualization — but other problems re-emerged as challenges, like data discovery, data quality and data management. Attempts to solve the problem — like traditional governance and observability tools — have been unnecessarily siloed, leading to further inefficiencies and inconsistent solutions … Acryl is designed to help teams move from simple data visibility to data insight, from insight to action and from action to automation.”

Beyond this, Acryl offers an “observability” module designed for monitoring data quality in real time. The module, aptly dubbed Observe, monitors and attempts to spot data quality issues — in theory helping to prevent data breakages and drive faster resolutions where they do occur.

Using Acryl, customers can also perform metadata tests, which surface areas for cost optimization, like expensive or underused data assets. The configurable monitors driving these tests let users define and continuously evaluate a set of conditions on the data assets in an organization.

“Our most common ‘competitor’ is the status quo of custom development, as data engineers establish manual processes and protocols on their own rather than implement a more automated solution,” Jagadish said.

Acryl has ambitious plans for the future, including AI features that’ll “intelligently curate” metadata and suggest business glossary tags and terms to more thoroughly document data catalogs. In addition, the company aims to launch an AI-powered tool to generate summaries that describe the key characteristics of a given data catalog, like its reliability and usage.

Acryl, which has a 25-person workforce, isn’t disclosing too much about its customer base. But the startup did reveal that it counts Notion, Zendesk, Robinhood, OVO Energy, BetterUp and Riskified among its clients.

Das added that DataHub, which he founded while at LinkedIn and which Acryl’s staff maintains, is used by companies like Pinterest, Stripe, Optum, Expedia, Saxo Bank and Peloton. He’s optimistic that the features Acryl’s building on top of DataHub will convince at least a few of those to convert.

“The fast rate of change in the data ecosystem presents a challenge for businesses and vendors alike,” Jagadish said. “As issues inevitably arise, Acryl increases productivity for data teams. Business users have a central resource to ask and address questions, rather than ad hoc processes for each issue, while data professionals can use Acryl’s lineage and impact analysis features to reduce time to resolution of data issues significantly.”

More TechCrunch

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

12 hours ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

14 hours ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo

Sony Music Group has sent letters to more than 700 tech companies and music streaming services to warn them not to use its music to train AI without explicit permission.…

Sony Music warns tech companies over ‘unauthorized’ use of its content to train AI

Winston Chi, Butter’s founder and CEO, told TechCrunch that “most parties, including our investors and us, are making money” from the exit.

GrubMarket buys Butter to give its food distribution tech an AI boost

The investor lawsuit is related to Bolt securing a $30 million personal loan to Ryan Breslow, which was later defaulted on.

Bolt founder Ryan Breslow wants to settle an investor lawsuit by returning $37 million worth of shares

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, launched an enterprise version of the prominent social network in 2015. It always seemed like a stretch for a company built on a consumer…

With the end of Workplace, it’s fair to wonder if Meta was ever serious about the enterprise

X, formerly Twitter, turned TweetDeck into X Pro and pushed it behind a paywall. But there is a new column-based social media tool in town, and it’s from Instagram Threads.…

Meta Threads is testing pinned columns on the web, similar to the old TweetDeck

As part of 2024’s Accessibility Awareness Day, Google is showing off some updates to Android that should be useful to folks with mobility or vision impairments. Project Gameface allows gamers…

Google expands hands-free and eyes-free interfaces on Android