Business intelligence upstart Birst gets $65 million venture infusion

March 17, 2015, 11:30 AM UTC
contract Armin Harris. Kyle Bean for Fortune
Kyle Bean for Fortune

Some business intelligence companies cater to data science teams that want to centralize control. Others appeal to departmental managers eager for insights about sales, inventory and other front-line business concerns.

Birst, which this morning disclosed a $65 million late-stage funding round led by Wellington Management, wants to play in both worlds. The new round basically doubles the San Francisco-based software company’s funding, bringing it to a total of about $129 million. It isn’t disclosing the valuation.

“It’s hard to create a data-driven organization if you don’t meld both approaches,” said Brad Peters, co-founder and chief product officer of the 10-year-old cloud software company, based in San Francisco. “You need to have some sets that are managed centrally. … But you also need to blend data that you’re buying or gathering.”

That message is resonating with hundreds of customers across more than 10,000 organizations, including AT&T, Aetna, Citrix, Kellogg’s, Reckitt Benckiser, and Royal Bank of Canada.

Some Birst customers from the consumer packaged goods industry, as an example, use its software to manage business-specific information about sales pipeline and supply-chain metrics. Those sets can be commingled with point-of-sale data or marketing campaign metrics as needed. “You get an dramatic increase in agility and leverage when you can stand this data up side-by-side,” Peters said.

Last October, Birst disclosed a strategic relationship with SAP that positions its cloud analytics as a complement to the HANA platform. “The real opportunity in business intelligence lies in our ability to push data to the front lines, empowering ever person to make every decision better,” Peters said at the time.

Birst’s CEO, who has been in place for about one year, is former Jive Software sales executive Jay Larson. His resume includes Oracle, Mercury Interactive (now part of Hewlett-Packard), and SuccessFactors (SAP). Peters, who was CEO, stepped into the product strategy role. He previously managed analytics products for Siebel Systems (Oracle).

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