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This Data Crunching Company Just Scored A Big New Investment

March 29, 2017, 11:00 AM UTC

MapD, a startup that uses powerful graphics chips for intensive data analysis jobs, has received $25 million in new funding.

Most data crunching has traditionally relied on general purpose chips known as central processing units or CPUs. But in recent years, companies have increasingly done their corporate data analytics with specialized graphic processing units, or GPUs, that are more commonly used to build realistic video games and create animation. GPUs are also the brains of the video cards on PCs and tablets.

What MapD and companies like Kinetica and Sqream Technologies do is provide a useful way to harness that power for business applications that typically run on non-GPU machines.

MapD’s Series B round was led by New Enterprise Associates. Previous backers Nvidia (NVDA), Vanedge Capital, and Verizon (VZ) Ventures also contributed.

The latest investment brings MapD’s total funding to about $37 million. The San Francisco-based company does not disclose valuation.

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MapD was founded in in 2013 by Todd Mostak, a former research assistant to database superstar Michael Stonebraker at MIT.

Mostak, who is MapD’s CEO, saw the promise of GPUs, especially as they gained more memory, to take on more mainstream tasks.

For decades, companies have collected and digitized a ton of data, said Jim McHugh, vice president of Santa Clara, calif-based Nvidia. “But we found we had more data, but were doing less with it because analytics were so slow,” he said . The combination of MapD and graphics chips speeds up data crunching and lets data scientists ask more questions of all that data, he said.

Major cloud providers like Amazon (AMZN) Web Services, Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT) already offer Nvidia GPU-based computing power to customers that want to rent it. MapD lets everyday businesses apply that power to their own data.