Making sense of AI

Ocient raises $15 million more for ‘exabyte-scale’ database tech

The founders of Ocient pose for a rooftop photo.

Image Credit: Ocient

Ocient, which is developing a platform that analyzes large and complex data sets, today announced it has secured a $15 million extension of the $10 million round it announced in March 2018. The startup says the funds will support continued product research and development, along with its recruiting, business, and sales efforts.

In 2018, the world was creating an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day, a number that has risen exponentially in the past two years. But enterprises are struggling to harness all that data — a survey conducted by NewVantage Partners found that 52% of participants believe they’re not competing on data and analytics.

Ocient was cofounded in 2016 by Chris Gladwin, who sold his previous venture — object storage software and systems developer Cleversafe — to IBM for more than $1.3 billion in 2015. Ocient aims to wrangle large data sets for enterprises across domains, dealing in spreadsheets measured in the tens of terabytes, petabytes, or exabytes, with trillions to quadrillions of rows.

The company’s relational database and analytics software platform can ingress billions of rows per second while filtering and computing aggregate results up to trillions of rows per second. It’s designed to play nicely with industry-standard hardware and the public cloud, enabling SQL and intra-database machine learning on multi-petabyte corpora and interactive query response time with second- to sub-second data latency.

Gladwin says the platform benchmarks at five to 1,000 times faster — and typically around 50 times faster — than high-performance alternatives like Presto, and up to 1,000 times faster than leading NoSQL and Hadoop-based databases when querying a large data set with the same hardware, queries, and data. He also claims that it’s more performant than solutions from competitors like Bigstep, Cloudian, and Termaxia.

“The exponential growth of data will make today’s big data solutions woefully inadequate for organizations’ analytics needs in the not-too-distant future,” he said in a statement. “Ocient is purpose-built for gaining insights in interactive time from the data tsunami every enterprise is tackling not just now, but for many years into the future.”

OCA Ventures led the $15 million extension, with participation from In-Q-Tel, the U.S.-based not-for-profit that invests on behalf of the CIA and other intelligence agencies. The new funds bring the company’s total raised to $25 million. It has also hired Kumar Abhijeet as VP of global sales and marketing, Andrew Baptist as VP of engineering, and Bill McCarthy as chief operating officer.

Ocient says it has already hired 15 employees and nine interns in 2020, bringing its employee count to over 50. And the Chicago-based company plans to more than double its headcount over the next year.

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