Stealth mode firm DataGravity landed a $30 million series B round of funding that should help it on its quest to bring data-analysis services to the business masses. The firm won't launch until 2014, but its mission is a lofty one: to "change the way people think about and manage their data while supporting a new wave in the consumerization of IT by giving end users the power to harness the richness of the data around them."
The firm aims to help small and mid-tier companies make use of unstructured data such as social-media feeds, emails, web documents and other information that doesn't filter easily into the more-structured information they have stored in their databases.
"We're really going after the unstructured data," at least at first, said DataGravity CEO and co-founder Paula Long. "We tested the initial concept of the product with a variety of potential customers."
The firm is "really being cagey" about its plans, according to President and co-founder John Joseph, who said the idea is to focus on the data rather than all the costly consulting services and staff provided by firms like Accenture, IBM, Acxiom and Merkle.
"It's more about the data and less about the employee count," he said, noting that DataGravity's future clients don't have the luxury of hiring a data scientist much less a team of them. Nor do they have the budgets to afford the often expensive and time-consuming consulting services and system integrations used by the P&Gs and Walmarts of the world.
Large companies are just beginning to invest in staff, consulting services and back-end storage systems to help them exploit the potential of the consumer data they have amassed over the years, and integrate it with the reams of information flowing in from social media and an array of third-party sources. So many factors affect decision making in the space, even some of the world's top marketing departments and agencies remain in exploratory mode as they assess which data sets are valuable, which software technologies are right for them and how to build out much-needed staff from a dearth of skilled data talent.
Andreessen Horowitz led the series B round, which DataGravity said "will provide the global go-to-market expertise, talent acquisition and various other services that will help DataGravity get the exposure it needs in the IT marketplace. This is truly unprecedented access to potential customers and domain experts as partners we can take advantage of in growing DataGravity."
General Catalyst Partners led DataGravity's initial funding round of $12 million in April.