Cloud-based data catalog startup Data.World today closed a $26 million venture capital funding round led by Tech Pioneers Fund. According to cofounder and CEO Brett Hurt, the proceeds will support Data.World’s efforts to accelerate its data governance initiatives and scale to meet demand.

Data scientists spend the bulk of their time cleaning and organizing data, according to a 2016 survey by CrowdFlower. That’s perhaps why firms like Markets and Markets anticipate that the data prep industry, which includes companies that offer data cataloging and curation tools, will be worth upwards of $3.9 billion by 2021.

Data.World aims to eliminate a few of the pain points with a catalog that maps data to business concepts, creating a unified body of knowledge. The platform’s suite provides cloud and on-premises management tools that can be used to inventory and organize data within enterprise systems.


Above: A schematic illustrating Data.World’s platform offerings.

Image Credit: Data.World

Using Data.World’s solutions, users can save and share data queries, analyses, and findings in real time. They’re also able to create and apply business descriptions and definitions and bring metadata in via collection agents, APIs, file transfers, and imports from existing governance and metadata management solutions.

Data.World offers self-serve analytics capabilities that enable personalized discovery, with fine-grained permissions for data viewing, editing, and publishing, plus automatic tracking of provenance and lineage. The company’s collaboration dashboard, which is built on custom knowledge graph and data visualization technologies, provides activity feeds and alerts to help share data sources in context.

Hurt says that despite pandemic-related challenges, Data.World continues to see quarter-over-quarter customer expansion and new customer acquisition. The company recently launched Coronavirus Data Resource Hub, a free and open data catalog for COVID-19 research. Clients include the Associated Press, CareOregon, and Wunderman Thompson.

“Building thriving data cultures that empower everyone in an enterprise to make smarter, data-driven decisions is no longer a story of transformation. It’s an absolute imperative,” Hurt told VentureBeat via email. “This requires a foundation of technology and agile processes that starts by making enterprise data findable, accessible, and understandable. Our customers rely on Data.World’s enterprise data cataloging and governance capabilities to help them meet their critical business goals and thrive in this new economy.”

Breyer Capital, Prologis Ventures, Alumni Ventures Group, and Accel cofounder Arthur Patterson; existing investors Shasta Ventures, OurCrowd, and Workday Ventures also participated in the funding round. It brings Austin, Texas-based Data.World’s total raised to $71.3 million following an $18 million series B in February 2017.


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