Cazena Raises $20M Series B For Its Enterprise Big Data-As-A-Service Platform

23 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Cazena Raises $20M Series B For Its Enterprise Big Data-As-A-Service Platform.

Cazena, a new platform that wants to make it easier for enterprises to process their data, today announced that it has raised a $20 million Series B round led by Formation 8. Many services have moved to the cloud–including storage, email and customer relationship management–and the startup Cazena is adding to those with its cloud-based data analysis, Deborah Gage reports for Dow Jones VentureWire.

The analytics ecosystem became a little more crowded today after a startup called Cazena Inc. exited stealth with $20 million in funding and a new service that promises to help organizations harness their data cheaper and more effectively than the competition.The crew that turned Netezza into a $1.7 billion big data success story is back with Cazena, a Waltham, MA-based startup its founders say can bring big data to the cloud. Other participants include Andreessen Horowitz and North Bridge Venture Partners, who both also participated in the company’s $8 million series A round last October. Cazena was founded by a number of former Netezza employees and is now led by Prat Moghe, who was Netezza’s general manager for data compliance before its acquisition by IBM in 2010.

The Massachusetts-based Cazena is the brainchild of former executives from Netezza, a maker of data warehousing appliances that was acquired by IBM Corp. in 2010, who reunited two years ago to try and repeat their success in the cloud. The startup is something of a contradiction of their previous work focused on removing the need for organizations to buy the on-premise systems that their former company sold. After a few years at IBM, Moghe decided that it was time to look at some of the problems Netezza was trying to solve from a fresh perspective. “We started thinking about the next decade of data processing and how enterprises are struggling with the new big data stacks like Hadoop,” he told us. “Every enterprise — and particular the medium to large enterprises — they were actively looking at the cloud to speed up the agility of processing. But they were being held back by the complexity and security issues [of the existing platforms].” Cazena aims to greatly simplify big data processing for businesses.

DataFox Intelligence has raised $5 million to research elusive private companies and recommend them as potential business targets for banks or technology vendors. Another cloud-based data warehousing provider called Snowflake Computing Inc. raised $45 million in a found round of its own only last month, while Amazon Inc. has been offering a native alternative as part of its dominant infrastructure-as-a-service platform for years. Ideally, it should only take three clicks to set up a data processing job with Cazena, Moghe believes (though in reality, it’s still a bit more involved right now).

The seed round comes from Goldman Sachs , Green Visor Capital and several current investors. 5AM Ventures has teamed up with DVS Sciences‘s former chief executive to hunt for new opportunities in the field.Former DVS CEO Joseph J. Cazena hopes to set itself apart from the pack with “workload intelligence” that can automatically determine what’s the best technology with which to handle a certain dataset. That and the headache of managing the transition. “There’s a big disconnect between how an enterprise consumes and processes big data and what’s available out there,” Moghe said. “It’s really hard for them to get on the cloud. Victor now leads Startide Sciences, which formed late last year to incubate life sciences tools startups and to identify existing toolmakers that 5AM could back (VentureWire is a daily newsletter with comprehensive analysis of all the investments, deals and personnel moves involving startups and their venture backers. Real-time streams of social media activity, for instance, might be relegated to the speedy Apache Spark, while more structured information like transaction records would be stored in a relational system.

They’re concerned about security, they’re concerned about complexity, and they already have a mature process of data flow that’s happening on premise, and it’s hard to ‘lift and shift’ that to the cloud.” Moghe said Cazena can remove those worries and has created software that can be deployed in only three clicks. It then automatically provisions, optimizes and manages that workflow for its customers, no matter whether it’s a Hadoop, Spark or MPP SQL (think Amazon Redshift) job. For a two-week trial, visit http://on.wsj.com/DJPEVCNews, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”) Jet.com Uses Clever Tactic to Save Money.

The mix-and-match approach represents a fairly significant departure from alternatives that Cazena’s high-profile founders and its equally notable investors bet will help differentiate its platform. Cazena works with applications such as Hadoop or Spark, and the company will be able to guide companies through the transition process and help find solutions for their future needs. “They just want to find the tool, and they want someone else to figure out what the right technology [is] and how much cloud they need,” Moghe said. This isn’t the first time Moghe or the other Cazena founders have taken on big data, even though they got their start before it had become a buzzword or cliché.

The site, which is aiming to take on Amazon.com, is spending as much as $300 million over the next few years to support an outside merchandise-buying program that makes it looks as though the site has millions of products for sale. That information can be kept in its native variable form, sorted and harmonized for fast processing like in a traditional data warehouse or put inside a “sandbox” where developers and analysts can carry out their work. But while Moghe told me that the company is already running some beta tests with a small number of large companies, Cazena isn’t quite ready to open up its service to all yet. With Netezza, which was founded in 1999, they built a company that developed data warehouse appliances that companies could use to manage and process what by early 2000s standards seemed like vast amounts of data.

There of the company’s co-founders–Wade Eyerly, Cory Cozzens and Reed Farnsworth–previously started Surf Air, a subscription air travel company. If Cazena can capitalize on that transition, it could do quite well: Moghe estimates that 90 percent of Fortune 2000 companies manage big data internally.

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