The 10 Coolest Big Data Startups Of 2016 (So Far)

Hot Market, Cool Startups

Big data remains one of the most dynamic segments of the IT industry with startups seemingly popping up every week offering new technology for collecting, managing and analyzing huge volumes of structured and unstructured data.

The market for big data hardware, software and professional services grew 23.5 percent to $22.6 billion in 2015, according to market researcher Wikibon, and is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 14.4 percent to $92.2 billion by 2026.

This year big data projects based on the Hadoop platform appear to be moving beyond the proof-of-concept stage and into more widespread production, while the emphasis among businesses is finding the best approach to make data and analytical capabilities available to a wide range of managers and employees.

Here are 10 cool startups in the big data arena that have caught our attention in the first half of 2016.

For more on the "coolest" of 2016, check out "CRN's Tech Midyear In Review."


CEO: David Drai

Founded in 2014, Anodot exited stealth in November by unveiling its real-time anomaly detection and operational intelligence technology -- software with patented machine-learning algorithms that automate business analytics and pinpoint performance issues and business opportunities in real time.

Anodot's technology is targeted toward use with e-commerce websites, digital advertising systems and Internet of Things networks for improving operational efficiency and maximizing revenue generation.

The company, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., and Ra'anana, Israel, raised $3 million in Series A venture funding in December.


CEO: K. V. Rao

Aviso has developed predictive analytics applications that are used by sales organizations to improve a business' sales forecasting processes. Combining machine-learning algorithms and portfolio management techniques, the software helps sales managers and representatives prioritize deals, mitigate risks and sharpen sales forecasts – what the company calls "total revenue intelligence."

Based in Menlo Park, Calif., Aviso was founded in 2012. The company's cloud-based software integrates with a range of CRM applications including, Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite, Oracle Sales Cloud and others.


CEO: Prat Moghe

Cazena has developed a Big Data-as-a-Service offering that businesses use to assemble cloud-based data lakes and data marts for provisioning and optimizing big data systems, including those built on Hadoop, Spark and MPP SQL technologies.

Launched in 2014 and based in Waltham, Mass., Cazena has attracted a lot of attention and financing because CEO Moghe and board members Jit Saxena and Jim Baum helped found Netezza, a pioneering developer of data warehouse appliances that IBM acquired in 2010 for $1.7 billion.

In May the company began offering its cloud-based data marts and data lakes on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.


CEO: Jay Kreps

Working with live, streaming data is one of the big challenges in big data management and analytics. One technology that's addressing the problem is the open-source Apache Kafka message broker project that provides high-throughput, low-latency software for handling real-time data feeds.

Confluent, founded by Apache Kafka's original developers and based in Palo Alto, Calif., has created a complete real-time data platform around Kafka that acts as a fault-tolerant, highly scalable messaging system. The software can be used for collecting data from user activity logs, stock ticker systems, device instrumentation and a broad range of other use cases.

In May the company announced the general availability of Confluent Platform 3.0, incorporating Kafka Streams for adding stream processing capabilities to applications, and the Confluent Control Center for operationalizing Kafka across an organization.


CEO: Jon Matsuo

Koverse provides a "data lake-in-a-box" platform that the company says makes it possible to collect big data and put it into production much more quickly and at a lower cost than with current technologies and practices.

The Seattle-based company was founded in 2012 and an early version of its technology debuted more than two years ago. The Koverse Platform 2.0, which just launched June 21, incorporates the Apache Accumulo "distributed key/value store" technology and the company's Universal Indexing Engine.

Co-founders Paul Brown (chief product officer) and Aaron Cordova (chief technology officer) worked as data scientists at the National Security Agency where they helped develop the original Accumulo project and re-architected that organization's data infrastructure to better handle unanticipated data analytical situations.

MapD Technologies

CEO: Todd Mostak

MapD Technologies develops a big data analytics platform that the company says can query and visualize big data at a speed 100 times faster than other systems. The software leverages the massive parallelism of commodity graphical processing units (GPUs) to execute SQL queries across multibillion-row datasets in milliseconds. The system works with its own MapD Immerse data visualization tool or with other visualization tools like Tableau.

Mostak developed a prototype of the technology while at Harvard University after becoming frustrated while waiting hours and even days for a computer system to process patterns in hundreds of millions of tweets – research he needed for a thesis he was writing on the Arab Spring. He created his own computer cluster using computer gaming GPU cards, then pursued the technology at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

The San Francisco-based company, founded in 2013, launched its commercial product in March.


CEO: Babur Ozden

Maana develops a data search and discovery platform, the Maana Knowledge Graph, whose forte is collecting data from numerous systems or "silos" and turning it into operational insights that can be used by line-of-business applications. The system is built on the Apache Spark processing engine.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company, founded in 2012 and officially launched in May 2015, is seen as being well-positioned for collecting and analyzing large volumes of data generated by Internet of Things networks.

In May 2016 the company raised $26 million in Series B financing, much of it from the company's oil and gas, and industrial customers including Shell, Chevron, Saudi Aramco, Intel and General Electric.


CEO: Mark Cunningham

Stytch debuted its end-to-end data analytics platform in April, offering in one system tools for self-service data preparation, data modeling, data discovery, reporting and dashboards. Stytch is backed by Dun & Bradstreet and a key selling point of the Stytch system is its links to Dun & Bradstreet's vast database of business data.

The Vancouver-based company just launched in August 2015. Founder and CEO Cunningham has been involved in the business intelligence industry since 1992 when his family company began developing Crystal Reports, an early and very successful Windows-based reporting tool.


CEO: Ajeet Singh

Under the motto "search-based analytics for everyone," ThoughtSpot has the audacious goal of eliminating the need for all complex business intelligence software. 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.

Founded in 2012 and based in Palo Alto, Calif., the company launched its appliance in October 2014. In December it released ThoughtSpot 3 with some 200 new features across search, analytics and visualization.

In May the company raised an impressive $50 million in Series C financing.


CEO: Pete Cittadini

Wavefront markets a real-time analytics platform that businesses use to monitor and manage the performance of their IT systems, from cloud services, to applications, to networks. Using technology developed at Google and Twitter, Wavefront helps predict and prevent system downtime and helps diagnose the root causes of IT problems in real time.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company was founded in 2012. In April Wavefront hired former Actuate CEO Cittadini as its new CEO.