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ThoughtSpot, a company that’s built business-intelligence (BI) software that accepts analysts queries in regular words instead of technical query language, announced $30 million in fresh funding this morning.
The startup can now add more sales and marketing people to help expand its customer base. And if ThoughtSpot’s experience working with big companies thus far is any indication, sales into more companies shouldn’t be too difficult.
Generally speaking, most of ThoughtSpot customers maintain data warehouses and BI software, but “when they look at this, they’ve never seen anything like this in the past 20 years; it’s completely different, and they have looked at all the tools that are out there,” Ajeet Singh, ThoughtSpot’s chief executive and a co-founder, told VentureBeat.
Indeed, many BI up-and-comers argue that they’re different — and they usually do stand out from the tools available from legacy vendors. But in some ways, ThoughtSpot does in fact offer some distinguishing features.
Rather than analyze data exclusively as a cloud-based service, ThoughtSpot sells software that runs on commodity servers that companies install in their on-premises data centers. For better or worse, that’s atypical in the age of increasing reliability on cloud applications. Prices start at $75,000, and companies can handle more and more data by adding commodity servers to run ThoughtSpot’s program.
Singh knows full well that ThoughtSpot does business in a market with a long list of competitors. But “we are a very user-experience driven company,” Singh said, adding that ThoughtSpot boasts strengths when it comes to scalability, security, and accuracy.
Startups other than his, like Birst and DataRPM, have followed Google’s lead in creating data queries based on the ordinary words that someone types into a “search” box. But tools that take this approach don’t tend to give precise answers to users’ questions, Singh said.
“They don’t give you one answer,” he said. “They give you a bunch of answers, or they give you guesswork.”
Perhaps that will bring more companies around to trying ThoughtSpot.
ThoughtSpot has a handful of customers, Singh said. He declined to name them.
Khosla Ventures led the new round of funding. Box co-founder and chief executive Aaron Levie also participated. With this round of funding, ThoughtSpot will continue to build one of the most talented teams in Silicon Valley and bring a Google-like experience to the $14B business intelligence market.
To date ThoughtSpot has raised $40.7 million, counting the $10.7 million round it announced just four months ago.
ThoughtSpot started in 2012 and is based in Redwood City, Calif. The company employs around 25 people and should boost that number to 50 or 60 by the end of the year, said Singh, who was previously a founder and chief products officer of server-and-storage company Nutanix, which has been doing quite well for itself lately.
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