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Big data and analytics startup Looker has raised $16 million in its first round of funding to promote data-driven discovery in “big data” software and to help it take on major players in the space.

Looker’s web-based product is taking on a crowded business intelligence field that includes such players as SAP, Tableau, KissMetrics, GoodData, and Mixpanel. But it claims to differentiate itself by making the software easier to use than most. So much so that it “gives anyone the ability to query live data.” It accomplished this by created a proprietary language it calls LookML, which “radically simplifies the process of scripting and recycling SQL queries.”

“We’re business intelligence for the under-40 crowd, and the response to our product really shows that we’ve found a substantially underserved market that was ripe for innovation,” Looker CEO Frank Bien said in a statement. “No one has attacked the core of [business intelligence] in the last 10 years. We tore it down and rebuilt it from the ground up, wrote our own language, architected a web-based infrastructure, and delivered a product that’s incredibly powerful.”

Since launching out of stealth mode in March 2013, Looker said it now has more than 40 paying customers and that these customers spend an average of 250 or more hours each month using Looker. A few notable customers include Hotel Tonight, SimplyHired, and True & Co.


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The new round of funding was led by Redpoint Ventures, with participation by prior investor First Round Capital. Including the new funds, Looker has raised $18 million to date.

The Santa Cruz, Calif.-based company was founded in June 2012 and has 18 employees.

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