IDC’s report Worldwide Big Data Technology and Services 2012-2016 Forecast, released earlier this year, estimates the big data market to grow 32% annually over 2012 through 2016 to be worth $23.8 billion in 2016. The services segment for the market is projected to grow 21% annually over the period, and the storage market catering to big data is estimated to grow 53% annually during this period. IDC also projects that there will be strong demand for analytic tools to support big data and an increasing number of companies will search for tools to simplify analytic services.
One such company looking to make it big in Big Data analytics is San Francisco–based GoodData. GoodData was founded in early 2008 by Czech-born serial entrepreneur Roman Stanek. Stanek is credited with having founded NetBeans, which he sold to Sun Microsystems and Systinet, which was sold to HP. GoodData was formed in the very early days of big data when the magnitude of the market was still being understood. Even in those early times, GoodData believed that “the cloud would be the best place to store and analyze data.” When I spoke with Stanek earlier this year, he mentioned how some people found his vision “stupid,” but it is his faith in cloud technology that helped GoodData grow internationally as well as create a product that caters to enterprises of all sizes.
After two years of development, GoodData released their cloud-based platform that helps organizations leverage big data to perform analytic tasks that help with decision making. The tool creates charts and graphs with data such as revenue performance and website traffic; segments customers based on their profile to drive targeted sales; and offers enhanced analytic offerings such as identifying correlations between key business metrics, conducting what-if analysis, measure sales effectiveness and compared multiple sets of data to identify differentiators and opportunities. Their app connects with tools like Zendesk and Salesforce.com to conduct such analysis. GoodData markets their offerings to SaaS providers that integrate GoodData’s technology into their platforms. These SaaS providers are able to offer their end customers access to GoodData’s dashboard, reporting, and other features through their platform.
Besides these OEM arrangements, GoodData charges their customers based on the volume of data that they process. Revenues have reportedly grown several hundred percent year on year, but still remain comparatively small. Last year, they suggested that they have a backlog of twice that which they are ready to book in the coming couple of years. They claim to have a customer base of more than 6,000 organizations, with names like Time Warner Cable, Capgemini, and Pandora Media to boast of.
They have raised $53.5 million in venture funding from investors that include Tim O’Reilly, Esther Dyson, Windcrest Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, Fidelity Growth Partners Europe, Tenaya Capital, and Next World Capital. Their latest round of funding was held in July 2012 and raised $25 million.
GoodData’s Product Expansion
GoodData is using their venture funds for product development and market expansion. They expanded their product line by introducing new cloud-based business intelligence tools that will help convert digital marketing data into actionable insights. They released BizData Monetization (BDM) analytics platform-as-a-service that will help organizations identify revenue opportunities from multiple sources of big data such as mobile, social, web, internal data, and cloud apps. They also introduced the GoodBusiness cloud-based analytics app, which is a collection of pre-built analytics tools which offer reports and apps that show key performance indicators and best practices across a variety of services such as Zendesk and Salesforce. As part of this expansion, they released tools that are focused on sales, marketing and subscriptions and enable enterprises to manage sales pipeline, evaluate marketing’s revenue contribution, and optimize customer engagement and revenue impact.
The company is still to decide on their future, but unlike his earlier companies, this time Stanek does not intend to sell GoodData. Early reports suggested that he may instead be looking to take this one public. That, of course, will take many years, as the company is still relatively small by IPO standards.
What I find interesting in Silicon Valley these days is that many serial entrepreneurs are building their second or third companies, and without the pressing need for liquidity, they are willing and able to stay on for the long haul, build hundreds of millions in revenues, scale their businesses to IPO and beyond. To these entrepreneurs, retirement is not attractive. They enjoy what they do. They enjoy building and scaling businesses. And as a result, today’s Silicon Valley is full of mid-sized, robust businesses that are growing nicely and that are led by talented, committed entrepreneurs.
Today’s Silicon Valley, thus, is a healthy, robust economy full of real companies, not just illusions!