February 4: From BI to AI (Alteryx, Citrix, DataRobot, Informatica, Microsoft Azure, Onehouse, Pecan, Teradata, TIBCO, Yellowfin)
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On February 3, Pecan, a low-code predictive analytics platform, raised $66M in Series C funding. Insight Partners led the round, with new investor GV also participating, as well as existing investors Dell Technologies Capital, GGV Capital, Mindset Ventures, S-Capital, and Vintage Investment Partners. The funding will be used to accelerate R+D and increase headcount.
Amalgam’s Insight: Pecan epitomizes the idea of helping companies move from BI to AI with its capability to help SQL-savvy data analysts to conduct data science. As a bridge technology between BI and AI, Pecan’s approach to providing predictive models for general use is a capability enterprises will need to pursue (whether with Pecan or another vendor) to empower their data analysts for the emerging era of machine learning that has been in progress for the last half-decade.
On February 2, Onehouse, a lakehouse service built atop Apache Hudi to make data lakes faster, cheaper, and easier to access, emerged from stealth with $8M in seed funding. Investment firms Greylock and Addition co-led the funding round; the money will be used for R+D. Onehouse is fully managed and cloud-native, accelerating the speed at which data lakes can be set up. Amalgam Insights’ Hyoun Park is quoted in the press release announcing the launch of Onehouse.
Amalgam’s Insight: The lakehouse, an amalgamation of data lake and data warehouse, is an important construct for data architects seeking to unlock the value of the “Big Data” they have collected over the past decade. The overwhelming volume and variety of enterprise data makes a traditional data warehouse approach challenging to support for all relevant data. However, lakehouses are challenging to support and Onehouse’s approach of providing a managed service for lakehouses will be valuable for companies seeking to take this approach but lacking the personnel to access the analytic value of semi-structured data.
On January 28, Idera announced that they had acquired Yellowfin International, an embedded data analytics and BI platform. Yellowfin will join Idera’s Developer Tools business, expanding the capabilities of that suite in a new direction, enhancing the ability of Idera to cross-sell BI and analytics functionality to existing and new customers.
Amalgam’s Insight: Yellowfin has been a long-time favorite of Amalgam Insights with its market-leading visualization and user-focused data exploration capabilities combined with its extreme scalability. In joining Idera, Yellowfin now joins a suite of solutions that will enhance Yellowfin’s embedded business intelligence capabilities and provide developers with tools for more robust and user-friendly applications.
On February 2, Teradata announced a global partnership with Microsoft where it would more fully integrate the Teradata Vantage platform with Microsoft Azure. Though Teradata is already significantly integrated with over 60 existing Azure data services, this announcement signals a deepening of the existing relationship between the two companies.
Amalgam’s Insight: This partnership shows Microsoft Azure’s continued partnership with analytic and data companies that compete with other areas of Microsoft. For Teradata, this partnership helps current clients to migrate to an enterprise cloud that is developer-friendly while Microsoft gains more data as it competes against Amazon in the cloud infrastructure market.
On January 31, Vista Equity Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital Corporation announced that they would be acquiring Citrix, a digital workspace and application delivery platform, for $16.5B. As part of the transaction, Citrix will merge with TIBCO, which is currently owned by Vista, bringing together Citrix’s secure digital workspace and app delivery capabilities with TIBCO’s data and analytics under one roof, with the goal of accelerating Citrix’s SaaS transition while creating a company that serves 98% of the Fortune 500.
Amalgam’s Insight: We will be working on a deeper exploration of this acquisition, which at first glance mirrors Idera’s acquisition of Yellowfin in creating a larger enterprise application company with a variety of capabilities across data management, security, and IT management. Given that Vista Equity Partners acquired TIBCO in 2014 for $4.3 billion, this will provide to be a busy year for TIBCO in quickly integrating Citrix and presenting this combined company for an impending acquisition or IPO.
Updates and Launches
Alteryx launched the latest version of the Alteryx Platform, 2021.4, on February 3. Key improvements include enhanced server APIs to allow for further administrative automation; the Named Entity Recognition text mining tool which automatically extracts data from images; new connectors for Anaplan, Google Drive, Outlook 365, and Automation Anywhere; and the Data Connection Manager, which will simplify sharing data sources across an organization.
Amalgam’s Insight: Alteryx’s market leadership as an analytic workflow platform is enhanced with this combination of connectors, data sharing, and automation capabilities. This version update comes at a time when Alteryx’s next stage of growth is dependent on supporting enterprise-wide use cases for analytic insight and providing the administrative governance necessary to quickly deploy these use cases.
On February 3, Informatica announced a new UK Point of Delivery for its Intelligent Data Management Cloud. Brexit has complicated the understanding and enforcement of data privacy and locality requirements, especially in regulated industries.
Amalgam’s Insight: Informatica’s debuting a geographically appropriate cloud to support organizations doing business in the UK helps said orgs respect relevant data-related laws and regulations. This delivery site will continue to be a trend in the data industry where global organizations will need to increase their investment in the UK or risk losing business to better-prepared competitors.
On February 1, Alteryx announced several personnel changes. Paula Hansen has been promoted to President and Chief Revenue Officer, while Keith Pearce has been named as the company’s new CMO. Previously, Pearce was the SVP of Corporate Marketing for Genesys. In addition, COO Scott Davidson will step down from his role as of mid-March.
Amalgam’s Insight: We covered the hiring of Paula Hansen in our May 2021 update. This promotion made sense as Alteryx has had a President/Chief Revenue Officer in the past. Keith Pearce has a strong record of solutions and vertical marketing across his career which fits Alteryx’ need to dig further into each vertical now that it has reached a critical mass of accounts. Alteryx’ challenge is no longer name recognition, but account development and education: two areas where Pearce has excelled in his past roles.
On February 2, DataRobot welcomed Debanjan Saha as their new Chief Operating Officer. Saha was previously the VP and GM of Data Analytics at Google, overseeing analytics on Google Cloud and BigQuery; before that, Saha developed and launched the Amazon Aurora relational database at AWS.
Amalgam’s Insight: Saha has a long record of managing cutting-edge cloud solutions at IBM, Amazon, and Google across virtualization, database, and data management technologies. As DataRobot has quickly grown from a machine learning automation solution to a broader MLOps and engineering platform, Saha’s managerial background will be valuable in pushing DataRobot’s development and monetization of the end-to-end needs for enterprise machine learning.