Big Data Startup Tamr Wins Financial Investment From GE Ventures

GE Ventures has made a strategic equity investment in Tamr, the startup developer of data unification technology, in a move that could have implications for both companies' efforts in the nascent Internet-of-things industry.

The investment deepens the relationship between industrial giant General Electric and Tamr. GE began using Tamr's big data management software in 2014 as part of a set of financial spending analysis applications.

The amount of the investment was not disclosed. Tamr had previously raised $41.2 million in two earlier rounds of financing from GV (previously called Google Ventures), New Enterprise Associates and other investors.

[Related: General Electric: We Produce Loads Of Data From The Industrial IoT]

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Tamr was founded in 2012 by database industry veterans Andy Palmer and Michael Stonebraker and launched in 2014. The company develops machine learning-based technology that aggregates data from hundreds of sources for analytical applications.

GE has hundreds of ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems and the company uses Tamr to unify data from more than 270 separate systems to provide an accurate picture of the company's spending. Tamr is processing 20 million transactions representing $60 billion in direct spending, according to the companies.

Since its initial adoption of Tamr, GE has deployed Tamr's software across multiple GE business units to unify hundreds of data sources resulting – according to the two companies – in cost savings and business insights worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Additional uses include aggregating data from business-to-business customer record management applications.

"Like our other corporate investors, this relationship began with GE first becoming a customer, and I'm delighted with this important step forward in our partnership together," Tamr CEO Palmer said in a statement. "Our goal at Tamr is to build an innovative and enduring company that is known for enabling our customers to transform and thrive. It would be hard to find a better role model for this than GE."

Tamr, based in Cambridge, Mass., will use the new financing to accelerate product development and go-to-market initiatives.

Under the investment deal Lisa Coca, managing director at GE Ventures, is joining Tamr's board as an observer.

Collecting and preparing structured and unstructured data from many disparate sources is one of the key challenges businesses face today when trying to develop analytical insights from big data. Those challenges will grow as businesses and organizations begin large-scale deployment of Internet of things networks that are expected to generate huge volumes of data that must be collected and analyzed.

General Electric has positioned itself as a leader in the industrial Internet of things arena, marketing its Predix software as a core platform for IoT systems.

Tamr, by the nature of its technology, is also likely to be a key player in the IoT industry.