Platfora, a big data analytics company, raises $38 million
FORTUNE — The big data startup Platfora announced on Wednesday that it raised $38 million in a series C round led by Tenaya Capital.
The round also included Citi Ventures, Cisco, Allegis Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures, and In-Q-Tel and increases the San Mateo, Calif.-based company’s total financing to $65 million.
Ben Werther, the company’s chief executive, says he is trying to take advantage of the increasing popularity of Apache Hadoop, the open source database that gives businesses the flexibility to store data without deciding its structure ahead of time and the ability to do so inexpensively. Hadoop allows companies to store and manipulate all of their data, instead of merely sample it; Werther’s company promises to layer its analytics platform over that infrastructure to allow line-of-business leaders, rather than a company’s IT department, find correlations that could help them make better decisions about their customers.
“It’s Moneyball,” Battery Ventures principal Mike Dauber said. “In Moneyball, it turned out that everyone in baseball was wrong — they didn’t understand the value of an out; they didn’t understand the value of a walk. Sometimes what we know about our world actually proves out not to be true at all. There’s a notion that 95% of business that we see are going with their gut. These businesses will have to become fact-based businesses or they’ll go out of business. It sounds hyperbolic, but it’s true. Baseball teams who couldn’t understand sabermetrics couldn’t compete.”
With the new funds, Werther says he’ll be investing across all areas of Platfora’s business: Talent, technology, product, sales. The company’s analytics platform is offered as a subscription service on premises or in the cloud, and its customers include Comcast CMCSA, Disney DIS, Edmunds.com, The Washington Post, Citi C, and Vivint.
“Businesses that are drowning in data and know there’s insight in there and just can’t get to it — there’s no tooling built for them,” Dauber added. “Hadoop is so much cheaper than a Teradata. You can actually store all of [the data]. Ten years from now, no one’s going to be talking about big data. It’ll just be data. When you look at all the data, how do you predictively get insights out of it? That’s what got me excited about Platfora. I think it has the chance to be sabermetrics for everybody.”