StrongDM, a startup with software for monitoring data as it comes in and generating alerts upon the discovery of errors, is announcing today an $800,000 round of seed funding.
The startup has released a beta version of its tool to seven customers, and now it’s planning to open up access to 25 more customers in the third quarter of this year, StrongDM cofounder and chief executive Liz Zalman said in an interview with VentureBeat.
“The most common thing that we’ve heard is a saving of man-hours,” Zalman said. The system finds and sends alerts for errors in real time, so teams can act on them right away, she said.
The software, which can be run as a cloud service or in on-premises data center, is designed to be a self-service system that people can start using within minutes or hours, Zalman said.
Several enterprise technology vendors — including Informatica, IBM, SAS, and SAP — sell data quality software or include it as part of their services. Not many startups have shown up in this market in recent years. (Microsoft did buy Zoomix in 2008.) Ask Zalman about Strong’s competitors, and she’ll immediately point to the tools that companies build for their own use.
“We just felt like where New Relic had been incredibly innovative years ago in ensuring your infrastructure was up and reliable, and you could make trusted decisions based on knowing that your app wasn’t about to crash, that same functionality just never existed for data quality,” cofounder and chief marketing officer Schuyler Brown told VentureBeat.
Rather than go after all companies, StrongDM (which stands for “strong data monitoring”) is currently focusing on health care, commerce, data as a service, and financial services, Brown said. Basically, he said, it’s targeting companies whose data quality errors would result in “direct financial consequences,” Brown said.
For example, Strong is working with one financial services company that approves or denies loans and mortgages based on scores of data sources. Employees can conduct reviews of certain cases manually, but “once your data set hits critical mass, it just doesn’t cut it anymore,” Zalman said.
The Menlo Park, California-based startup is less than a year old, with just three people on the team. The headcount will get closer to 10 as the year progresses, Zalman said.
Bloomberg Beta led StrongDM’s seed round. Data Collective, SocialStarts, and Jerry Neumann also participated.