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Big bucks for big data startup Ayasdi

March 25, 2015, 3:00 PM UTC
Gurjeet Singh, CEO, Ayasdi
Gurjeet Singh, CEO, Ayasdi
Courtesy of Ayasdi

What good is well-organized data if you don’t have enough people to ask the right questions?

Analytics software company Ayasdi uses mathematics theory to find potential patterns in data and visualize them as geometric shapes, basically offering hints about the best places for data analysts to start looking. Its mantra is simplicity, a message that just helped it close another $55 million in funding.

The Series C round was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The capitalization also includes existing backers Institutional Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures, Floodgate, Citi Ventures and new investors Centerview Capital and Draper Nexus. So far, the company has raised $100 million.

The new money will go toward expanding the Ayasdi sales team and scaling its technology beyond its initial strongholds in health care and financial services into solutions for retail, manufacturing, energy and technology. “We need better algorithms to ask the right questions,” said co-founder and CEO Gurjeet Singh, an expert in mathematics and machine learning who previously worked for Google and Texas Instruments.

“Ayasdi stood out to us because it has compelling technology that can be readily deployed across Fortune 500 companies like Citi,” said Debby Hopkins, CEO of Citi Ventures and chief innovation officer of Citi. “Ayasdi ingests massive amounts of data and creates visual representations that allow companies to identify outliers that might otherwise go undetected. As institutions create bigger and bigger volumes of data, the importance of tools to help them decipher the information quickly and easily is crucial.”

Over the past 12 months (ended Jan. 30), Ayasdi (the name is Cherokee for “seek”) has managed a 400% bookings growth. Customers include Citigroup, Siemens, Lockheed Martin, and the Mercy health system.

“As you can imagine, a company like Citi—which has around 200 million customer accounts, moves an average of $3 trillion per day in business and institutional financial flows, and operates in more than 160 countries—has a lot of complex data,” Hopkins said. “We have wide variety of use cases from consumer to institutional, and in each instance, Ayasdi’s software helped to increase the number of variables we’re analyzing and dramatically cut down the time to drive results, which is critical for our business.”

Ayasdi’s customers use the software for everything from fraud detection to risk management and compliance. Lockheed Martin, for example, uses Ayasadi to monitor more than 2,000 different product initiatives and programs across five divisions. The software acts as an “early warning system” that alerts executives about factors that could lead to costly delays, like one related to the F-35 fighter jet. “It helps them intervene much earlier in the process,” Singh said.

To date, Ayasdi has scored an appreciable number of accounts in financial services (three of the five biggest companies in the world) and healthcare, where it has developed a special offering called Ayasdi Care. Mercy uses the software to identify clinical best practices that improve patient outcomes and save money; it expects to reduce costs by $100 million over the next three years.

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