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Cloud-based data catalog startup Data.World today closed a $11.05 million growth round led by Dutch chemical company Vopak, a customer. The company says the funds will be used to support expansion, product development, and hiring, as well as new customer acquisition.

Data scientists spend the bulk of their time cleaning and organizing data, according to a 2016 survey conducted by CrowdFlower. In a recent Alation report, a majority of respondents (87%) pegged data quality issues as the reason their organizations failed to implement AI. 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 the end of 2021.

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

“We founded data.world to create the most meaningful, collaborative, and abundant data resource in the world by dismantling the barriers between people and data,” CEO Brett Hurt, who cofounded Data.World with Bryon Jacob, Jon Loyens, and Matt Laessig, told VentureBeat in email. “There are two main ways we are achieving this, both powered by the knowledge graph (linked data). First, as a cloud-native enterprise data catalog and agile data governance solution that makes data easy to find, understand, trust, use, and reuse. Second, as the world’s largest collaborative open data community, which is free and open to the public.”

Data.World

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

Image Credit: Data.World

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

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

Growth and expansion

Despite pandemic-related challenges, Data.World, which has 85 employees, continues to see quarter-over-quarter customer expansion, according to Hurt. In January, the platform’s user base surpassed a million users, following the announcement of a partnership with no-code data connector Precog to incorporate the latter’s technology into its platform. And in March, Data.World inked an agreement with data reliability company Monte Carlo to integrate its platform for pipeline abnormality monitoring and alerting.

Data.World’s customers include the Associated Press, CareOregon, and Wunderman Thompson.

“Data.world has more than one million users in our open data community. This includes community members from more than two-thirds of the Fortune 500,” Hurt said. “We do not disclose our enterprise customer count, but I can say that it has more than doubled during the past twelve months … We’ve also had a number of customers expand very rapidly with us, and one of them has over 11,000 users right now on data.world.”

Angel investors Steve Pagliuca, former Priceline CEO Rick Braddock, and David Reuter also participated in Data.World’s latest financing round. It brings the company’s total raised to date to over $82 million following a $26 million round last September.

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