Upstart Domo Unleashes Real-Time Business Management Dashboard

March 22, 2016, 5:00 PM UTC
Don't fear the rooster: James with one of his motivational tools at Domo headquarters in American Fork, Utah.
Photograph by Art Streiber

Many people usually associate mysterious software startup Domo, the latest venture from Omniture co-founder Josh James, with marketing analytics. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Over the past five years, Domo has built more than 1,000 “connectors” that retrieve data from hundreds of cloud services, databases, and business applications—ranging from Intuit’s QuickBooks to mission-critical software from NetSuite, Salesforce, and SAP. Domo’s software pours those metrics into management dashboards—called “cards”—that visualize the information in real time.

Since its relatively stealthy launch, Domo has signed up more than 1,000 customers for these services—including logistics giant DHL, marketplace operator eBay, beverage maker SAB Miller, and financial services powerhouse MasterCard. To date, Domo has generated $100 million in billings, according to new data revealed by the company this week.

Now—backed with a fresh venture capital infusion of $131 million—it’s launching a comprehensive service that presents various business intelligence visualizations in one location. Domo calls this approach, which it outlined Tuesday at its annual customer conference, the Business Cloud.

“In the process of running Omniture, this was always the thing that I wished I had to run my business. I couldn’t find anything to buy to solve this, so I decided to build it myself,” James told Fortune. James began really focusing on Domo after he sold his first startup marketing analytics pioneer Omniture to Adobe (ADBE) for $1.8 billion.

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You can think of Business Cloud as the ultimate business intelligence mashup. On the surface, it’s a dashboard that displays whatever performance indicators you choose, from efficiency ratings for every member of your sales team to predictive alerts about which customers might be getting ready to defect.

In addition, Domo has built a set of companion social businesses services. These apps allow individuals to comment on data and offer subjective insight. The services can also be used to prioritize how cards are presented. For example, the chart viewed most often or indicated as a “favorite” might appear first on a person’s dashboard. “Once you have a visualization, you want to be able to start having conversations about it, as in real time,” James said.

Strictly speaking Domo faces competition on many different fronts, notably from a relatively well-known group of business intelligence and analytics software vendors, such as Tableau Software (DATA) and Qlik Technologies (QLIK). What makes it unique, according to James, is that Domo’s service allows businesses to create sophisticated apps combining several different data sources far more quickly than competitive approaches—in a matter of weeks rather than months.

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MasterCard (MA), which has been using Domo’s analytics software for 18 months, is able to act on the data it gathers far more quickly than in the past, according to the company’s senior vice president of digital marketing, Michael Donnelly. “We had to go to many different places to assemble this information before, almost a dozen different places,” he said. “Now, we can put the pieces adjacent to each other. “We’re able to do a whole lot more.”

So far, Domo’s pitch has helped James and company amass close to $590 million in venture funding. That includes a newly disclosed $131 million addition to its Series D round, which now totals $330 million. Previous backer BlackRock increased its backing, while Credit Suisse and Canyon Capital Advisors are joining the list of investors.

The round was raised at a “sustained valuation” of $2 billion, which is what the company was worth in April 2015.

Don’t hold your breath for an initial public offering any time soon. “We’re ready, but we’re not in a hurry,” James said.

At least some of Domo’s new money—$50 million to start—will go toward an investment fund created to encourage developers to write business apps based on its analytics technologies.

That’s the same approach being used by Slack, which wants to turn its business messaging application into a “command center” that connects cloud business software. Slack created its own $80 million investment fund last December.

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