The 10 Coolest Big Data Startups Of 2015

Super-Fast Growth, Super-Cool Startups

Market research firm IDC predicts that the market for big data-related infrastructure, software and services will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 23.1 percent through 2019, with spending reaching $48.6 billion in 2019. Sales of big data software are specifically expected to grow at a CAGR of 26.2 percent during that time period.

So it's no wonder that this year has seen a wave of big data startups exit stealth mode and debut their groundbreaking technologies. Here's a look at 10 startups that caught our attention this year.

If you missed it, be sure to take a look back at the rest of the best of 2015 with CRN.


CEO: Satyen Sangani

Startup Alation exited stealth in March, debuting its enterprise data-accessibility platform designed to help people more easily find, understand, use and govern their data for making faster and better decisions.

Alation said its platform combines elements of machine learning with human insight to capture information about what the data describes, where it comes from, who's using it and how it's being used. The company's key executives and technologists came from Oracle, Google, Apple and other IT companies.

Alation, based in Redwood City, Calif., also announced $9 million in Series A funding in March.


CEO: Diego Oppenheimer

Analytical algorithms might seem a strange thing to go shopping for. And yet that's the service Algorithmia provides with its online marketplace, offering algorithms developed by academics and other programmers that developers can build into their applications.

The algorithms cover such areas as text analysis, machine learning, audio and visual processing, and more. Developers can add intelligence to their software, such as the ability to recognize patterns in data, extract visual knowledge, classify unstructured data and derive meaning from language.

Founded in 2013, Seattle-based Algorithmia was voted the top Startup Showcase winner at the Strata + Hadoop World conference in September.

Arcadia Data

CEO: Sushil Thomas

Arcadia Data develops analytics software that helps businesses overcome the knotty problem of getting value out of Hadoop-stored data. The vendor's unified front-end visual analytics tool and business analytics platform uses Hadoop as an operating system and directly accesses data stored in the Hadoop Distributed File System.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company exited stealth in June with $11.5 million in Series A venture financing. CEO Sushil Thomas, along with other members of the company's startup team, came from such companies as Teradata, Aster Data, IBM and 3PAR.


CEO: Dave Mariani

AtScale develops a solution to the problem of getting data, analysis and insight out of Hadoop. The company, founded in 2013 and based in San Mateo, Calif., exited stealth in April and raised $7 million in Series A financing in June.

The startup's AtScale Intelligence Platform allows commonly used business intelligence tools, including Tableau and QlikView, to access data stored in Hadoop clusters. The technology creates a semantic layer between Hadoop and third-party BI tools, essentially turning Hadoop into an OLAP (online analytical processing) server that can be tapped for multidimensional analysis.

Bedrock Data

CEO: John Marcus III

Businesses today have data scattered across multiple applications and data sources, from CRM and marketing automation applications to corporate payment systems. That can make connecting the data dots for, say, identifying a company's most promising customer prospects nearly impossible.

In April, Bedrock Data launched its cloud-based data integration and management platform for disparate data sets after more than a year of development, testing and working with early-adopter customers. The integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) system automatically reviews, updates and synchronizes information across marketing, sales, email, ticketing and other data silos.

At the same time, Boston-based Bedrock Data raised $3.1 million in Series A financing.


CEO: Prat Moghe

Cazena exited stealth in July with its big data-as-a-service offering that the Waltham, Mass.-based startup promises can move a business' big data processing to the cloud in just three clicks. Cazena's Data Lake-as-a-Service and Data Mart-as-a-Service can provision and optimize cloud infrastructure and big data technologies like Hadoop, MPP SQL and Spark.

CEO Prat Moghe, along with board members Jit Saxena and Jim Baum, were among the founders of Netezza, a pioneering developer of data warehouse appliances that was acquired by IBM in 2010 for $1.7 billion.

The company also announced $20 million in Series B funding in July.

Domo Technologies

CEO: Josh James

Domo Technologies was in stealth mode between its 2010 founding and earlier this year. But in April the startup really got people's attention when it announced that it had raised $200 million in Series D funding, putting the company's total financing at around $450 million and its valuation at a stunning $2 billion.

At the same time the American Fork, Utah-based company debuted its cloud-based executive management system, software that provides business managers with access to information scattered across many disparate sources through a single dashboard. The company offers solutions designed for specific roles (CEO, finance, operations, sales, marketing, etc.) and for specific industries (financial services, retail, health care, education, transportation and hospitality, manufacturing, high tech, media and entertainment, and others).


CEO: Amar Arsikere

In September, startup Infoworks launched its Dynamic Data Warehousing (DDW) platform, which runs on a single Hadoop cluster. The software automatically crawls enterprise databases, ingests data into Hadoop and keeps it synchronized. It also organizes the data into data warehouses, cubes and other data models for multiple use cases.

Before its September debut, San Jose, Calif.-based Infoworks had been in stealth mode while it developed and tested its technology. The company plans to develop additional software that runs on the DDW platform.

Infoworks also announced in September that it raised $5 million in Series A funding.

Kyvos Insights

CEO: Praveen Kankariya

Businesses have been deploying Hadoop for collecting and managing huge volumes of data. But they often struggle to find the best way to provide business users and analysts access to that data so that they may derive value from it.

Kyvos Insights, which was founded in 2012 and emerged from stealth in June, develops OLAP (online analytical processing) software that works directly with data stored in Hadoop. The software creates "cubes on Hadoop" that support multidimensional analytics and can handle both structured and unstructured data "at any scale and granularity," according to the Los Gatos, Calif.-based company.

Along with helping workers make valuable use of big data, it negates the need to move data from Hadoop into a data warehouse or data mart system for analysis -- a complex and costly process.


CEO: Ajeet Singh

Following a philosophy of "search-based analytics for everyone," Palo Alto, Calif.-based ThoughtSpot wants to eliminate the need for complex BI tools. The company's ThoughtSpot Relational Search Appliance combines data from on-premise, cloud and desktop sources, and provides users with the ability to access that data with a simple search interface.