Deals

Datameer picks up $19M to help companies do analytics along with Hadoop

In simplifying Hadoop -- which takes an elephant as it mascot -- Datameer is helping more people process and analyze data.

Above: In simplifying Hadoop -- which takes an elephant as it mascot -- Datameer is helping more people process and analyze data.

Image Credit: Rachel/Flickr

Hadoop, the leading framework used by companies to process huge amounts of data, has become all the rage right now. And commercial distributors of Hadoop, including Cloudera and Hortonworks, receive the bulk of the mindshare.

But there’s another set of companies that offer analytics on top of Hadoop, and they benefit when the Hadoop companies like Cloudera get new business. That sort of trickle-down business is why investors are betting $19 million more on Hadoop analytics company Datameer.

“You’re actually seeing Datameer being purchased almost at the same time as Hadoop itself, at the same time as the distribution,” Ben Fu, a partner at Next World Capital, said in an interview with VentureBeat. Next World led the latest round of funding for the company, bringing its total funding to $36.8 million.

Datameer’s large contracts from customers such as British Telecom, Sears, and Visa, also made the company interesting, Fu said.

Datameer helps companies analyze and visualize their big data more quickly and easily through a simple point-and-click and spreadsheet-like user interface. It allows users to perform this analysis on data dumped into the scalable Hadoop file system. It has reported strong revenue growth over the past year, saying it had tripled revenues through May of last year.

Next World Capital’s Fu is joining Datameer’s board. Alongside Next World, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Redpoint Ventures also joined the round.

The new money will provide Datameer with the firepower to sign up new customers, especially in Europe, where Next World has a program to put startups in touch with executives at enterprises from around the continent.

The funding will also help Datameer broaden its capabilities following recent additions to Hadoop, Fu said. That could mean taking advantage of the new YARN tool for efficiently managing resources for various Hadoop deployments.

The money could also help fend off competitors. The company needs to watch out for visualization experts with analytics capability, such as Birst and Platfora.

Datameer also needs to put up with vendors offering a wide set of capabilities, including Alpine Data Labs, GoodData, and Karmasphere. Still, Fu said the biggest competitor for Datameer is the practice of building custom analytics tools on the job.

Whenever companies show interest in going down that route, Datameer’s chief executive, Stefan Groschupf, likes to talk about making the most of time.

“Now that Hadoop is becoming mainstream, businesses realize they don’t have time to build their own analytic applications on Hadoop. They need a turnkey solution like Datameer,” Groschupf said in a statement to VentureBeat.

Another selling point for Datameer: The company made its tools specifically for Hadoop from the beginning, while some competitors’ software doesn’t always run natively.

Datameer’s software can “talk to the Hadoop cluster, and they do very smart things across the cluster to do the data processing — smart sampling of data whereby they can use an entire cluster to process very, very large data sets,” Fu said.

He sounds confident about Datameer’s advantage. The challenge now is to spread the gospel internationally and make Datameer as pervasive as the Hadoop distributions themselves.

By the way, one more bit of evidence that Hadoop is an increasingly hot area of investment: Just last week, a big data integration company, Talend, which also uses Hadoop, announced it had raised $40 million, to help companies with Hadoop integrate and manage data more efficiently.