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Data Analytics Startup Ahana Raises $20M In Series A Funding

The company will accelerate development of its Ahana Cloud service that provides a way to query huge volumes of data in AWS S3-based data lakes.

Big data analytics startup Ahana has raise $20 million in Series A funding, the company said Tuesday.

Ahana will use the financing to accelerate development of its cloud-based data query engine as well as expand its go-to-market sales and marketing teams, Ahana co-founder and CEO Steven Mih said in an interview with CRN.

Ahana, launched in June 2020 and based in San Mateo, Calif., previously raised $4.8 million in seed funding rounds, bringing its total funding to $24.8 million.

[Related: Emerging Big Data Vendors To Know In 2021]

The Series A funding was led by Third Point Ventures, the emerging technology investment arm of the Third Point LLC investment advisement firm. The oversubscribed round included participation by existing investors GV (formerly Google Ventures), Leslie Ventures and Lux Capital. Robert Schwartz,a Third Point Ventures managing partner, is joining Ahana’s board of directors.

Ahana’s Ahana Cloud managed service, which debuted in September, 2020, is a SQL query engine that speeds up queries against huge volumes – even petabytes – of structured and unstructured data in AWS S3 data lakes.

Data lakes are huge stores of unorganized data. The ability to effectively run queries against data lakes is touted by Ahana and other backers of the data lake concept, including Databricks and Starburst, as a more flexible, less costly alternative to data warehouse systems.

Ahana’s technology is based on the open-source PrestoDB query engine that was originally developed within Facebook and is now under the Linux Foundation.

The Ahana Cloud is being adopted by customers for a range of use cases including reporting and dashboarding, data transformation, data science and customer-facing analytics, said Dipti Borkar, Ahana co-founder and chief product officer, in the interview.

“This is a huge market,” she said. “The next 10 years of analytics is all about the data lake.”

“We’re at a phenomenal intersection of data, cloud, open source and analytics that’s going to drive many unicorns – it already has,” Mih said, using the term for startups with valuations of $1 billion of more. “And we see ourselves as one that will do very well over time,” he said, adding that the company has recorded substantial growth in the last year despite launching at about the same time the global COVID-19 pandemic began.

Mih said the bulk of the new funding will be used to expand Ahana’s technical teams and accelerate product development. Some will go toward working with the Presto community to evangelize the technology that underlies Ahana’s offerings. And some will be used to hire additional sales and marketing staff to expand go-to-market efforts and drive customer demand.

Ahana largely sells its services through cloud marketplaces and works with a number of partners who provide systems integration, data analytics consulting, and support services, Mih said.

“As we witness the evolution of modern analytics, we’re seeing a new stack emerge adjacent to the data warehouse,” said Third Point Ventures’ Schwartz, in a statement. “Companies need an open, flexible approach to access their data, and the data lake with Presto on top provides that. Ahana Cloud provides the foundation for this new stack, giving all platform teams the ability to easily use Presto on their data lake. With Ahana, any company can leverage the open data lake for their analytics. This is extremely powerful.”

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