PredictionIO today announces the finalization of $2.5M in funding in a capital raise whose investors include Azure Capital QuestVP, CrunchFund, Stanford StartX-Fund, Kima Ventures, IronFire, Sood Venture and XG Ventures. The funding will be used to accelerate product development and marketing and sales and operations for the company’s open source machine learning server for predictive analytics. PredictionIO aspires to fill the role in the predictive analytics space played by MySQL in the relational database space by delivering an open source platform that empowers data scientists to both leverage a pre-defined library of predictive algorithms as well as create new algorithms that they can either choose to contribute to the platform, or keep to themselves. Built using Scala, the PredictionIO platform supports JVM and Java-based code as well as backend Hadoop-based data. Typical use cases for PredictionIO’s technology include the production of personalized content and recommendation engines, as well as algorithms that predict the behavior of users and industries based on historical trends. Available through the Amazon Web Services marketplace or via download, Prediction IO already boasts an open source user community of over 4000 developers and undergirds predictive analytics in “hundreds” of applications across of variety of verticals. The platform fills a critical niche in the big data analytics space by delivering an open source platform as a service-like infrastructure for the development of predictive analytics. Importantly, PredictionIO empowers companies who cannot afford to hire quant-level data scientists to quickly develop and tweak predictive models using its guided, machine learning-based user interface. That said, much of the success of PredictionIO will depend on the richness and variety of its library of pre-configured predictive modeling algorithms, but its initial round of funding represents a promising start toward accelerating adoption and expanding the platform’s impressive list of existing libraries and relevance for various use cases.
Rackware today announced the finalization of $2.3M in funding that brings the total capital raised by the Santa Clara-based cloud management company to $7M. Today’s funding round was led by existing investors Kickstart Seed Fund and Osage Venture Partners. The funding will be used to accelerate product development and expand Rackware’s sales and marketing operations, including increased expansion to Europe, Middle East and Africa. The company’s Rackware Management Module allows customers to move physical workloads from datacenters into the cloud, or alternatively to move workloads between cloud vendors. Additionally, the platform delivers autoscaling functionality for on premise infrastructures that empowers customers to extend their datacenters to the cloud as needed. The current roster of cloud platforms supported by Rackware includes Amazon Web Services, NTT, IBM’s SoftLayer, CenturyLink, OpenStack, SunGard, CloudSigma, Rackspace and VMware. Rackware’s platform delivers an automated, push button approach to the migration of workloads to and between cloud platforms in ways designed to enhance IT infrastructure mobility and elasticity. As cloud adoption accelerates, particularly amongst enterprises that find themselves forced to confront the challenge of migrating legacy applications to the cloud, technologies such as Rackware’s are likely to encounter increased demand as organizations require and demand automated solutions for migrating workloads to and between cloud vendors.
On Monday, MapR Technologies announced the finalization of $110M in funding based on $80M in equity financing and $30M in debt financing. Google Capital led the equity funding in collaboration with Qualcomm Incorporated, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund, NEA and Redpoint Ventures while MapR’s debt funding was financed by Silicon Valley Bank. The funding will be used to spearhead MapR’s explosive growth in the Hadoop distribution and analytics space as illustrated by a threefold increase in bookings in Q1 of 2014 as compared to 2013. Gene Frantz, General Partner at Google Capital, commented on Google Capital’s participation in the June 30 funding raise as follows:
MapR helps companies around the world deploy Hadoop rapidly and reliably, generating significant business results. We led this round of funding because we believe MapR has a great solution for enterprise customers, and they’ve built a strong and growing business.
Monday’s announcement comes soon after MapR’s news of its support for Apache Hadoop 2.x and YARN in addition to all five components of Apache Spark, the open source technology used for big data applications that specialize in interactive analytics, real-time analytics, machine learning and stream processing. The additional $110M in funding strongly positions MapR with respect to competitors Cloudera and Hortonworks given that Cloudera recently raised $900M and Hortonworks finalized $100M in funding. The news of MapR’s $110M funding also coincides with a recent statement from Hortonworks certifying the compatibility of YARN with Apache Spark as part of a larger announcement about the integration of Spark into the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) alongside its Hadoop security acquisition XA Secure and Apache Ambari for the provisioning and management of Hadoop clusters. With a fresh round of capital in the bank and backing from Google, the creators of MapReduce, MapR signals that the battle for Hadoop market share features a three horse race that is almost certain to intensify as vendors compete to streamline and simplify the operationalization of Big Data. In the meantime, Big Data-related venture capital continues to flow like water bursting out of a fire hydrant as the Big Data space tackles problems related to big data analytics, streaming big data and Hadoop security.
Cloud management and data center infrastructure automation vendor Egenera recently announced the launch of Virtul Machine Instance (VMI) technology that enables the provisioning of physical and virtual servers in addition to its subsequent management. Egenera’s newly released VMI instances technology is enabled by its integration with the open source XenServer platform and allows Egenera customers to use its PAN Manager product to provision and manage XenServer-based virtual machines. The launch of Egenera’s VMI instances technology as part of its PAN Manager platform positions it to offer cloud management services to a more varied ecosystem of infrastructures as illustrated by the “XenServer VM” component of the graphic below:
Egenera’s PAN Cloud Director already supports the management of cloud infrastructures that leverage VMware’s vSphere and Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor. In addition, the PAN Cloud Director enables customers to manage Amazon Machine Instances-based machines deployed on the Amazon Web Services Elastic Cloud Compute platform. As told to Cloud Computing Today in a phone interview with Egenera’s VP of Marketing, John Humphreys, Egenera plans to extend the purview of the PAN Cloud Director platform to cloud infrastructures based on the KVM hypervisor as well as Windows Azure and Verizon Terremark. Last week’s VMI instances announcement builds upon a recent capital raise of $16M led by Comvest Partners that Egenera intends to use to accelerate its sales and marketing and product development initiatives. As hybrid cloud infrastructures increasingly become the de facto cloud deployment model, technologies such as Egenera’s PAN Cloud Manager and PAN Cloud Director are likely to transition from being “useful” to “necessary” for purposes of automating and streamlining IT infrastructure management spanning varied cloud and on premise infrastructures that leverage a range of virtualization platforms.
Mesosphere finalized $10.5M in Series A funding on Monday in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz. The San Francisco-based startup intends to commercialize Apache Mesos technology to help enterprises experience the datacenter-related economies of scale enjoyed by handful of internet giants such as Twitter, Netflix and eBay. Apache Mesos enables organizations to manage datacenters as if they are a single machine as opposed to a veritable ecosystem of computing, storage, networking and application components. Mesos technology aggregates datacenter resources and automates the processes required for day to day management of IT operations. Apache Mesos uses containerizer technology to “provide an environment for each executor and its tasks to run in” for purposes of “resource isolation” in contradistinction to containerization, which represents a “general concept that can encompass such things as packaging.” By encapsulating a datacenter within the rubric of one entity using Mesos technology, enterprises can enjoy improvements in resource utilization, fault tolerance, scalability, performance and simplicity of management. Brad Silverberg, co-founder of Fuel Capital, which also participated in the Series A funding raise, described the concept of managing a datacenter as one machine as “the holy grail of cloud computing” that had yet to be delivered successfully by any technology with the exception of Apache Mesos. Organizations that currently use Mesos technology include AirBnB, HubSpot, eBay, Netflix, OpenTable, PayPal and Twitter. Today’s funding raise also featured the participation of Data Collective in addition to Andreessen Horowitz and Fuel Capital.
WalkMe, a cloud-based platform that brands itself as the equivalent of a GPS for users of a SaaS applications, was recently named winner of Silicon Valley’s Tie50 Award. Selected from over 2500 companies worldwide for the award, WalkMe’s success at the Tie50 competition for top startups comes soon after the finalization of $11M in funding in a round led by Scale Venture Partners that brings the total capital raised by the company to $17.5M. WalkMe simplifies online user experiences by providing users of web-based applications with guidance regarding the completion of a task of interest. For example, if a user of an online banking website wished to create an automated transfer of funds from one account to another but were unsure of the online process for doing so, they could use WalkMe’s proprietary technology to obtain direction about the set of screens to navigate as illustrated below:
WalkMe allows users to type in free text questions to user experience navigation questions and subsequently receive click by click instructions about the optimal online path to complete the task described in their question. Easily installed by means of the addition of a line of code to the backend of the application in question, the WalkMe Enterprise Class Guidance and Engagement Platform enhances user experiences and contributes to customer retention, particularly with respect to online experiences in verticals such as online retail and travel-related websites where consumers often spend seconds before deciding whether to navigate to a new website. That said, the WalkMe platform can be used to enhance user experience in any web-based application and subsequently give vendors an advantage over competitors because of the streamlined user experience and increased satisfaction enjoyed by its users. With customers such as Adobe, Amazon Web Services, Bank of Montreal and Citrix, WalkMe stands well positioned to disrupt the user interaction space by transforming the way users obtain information from web-based technologies. Expect more details about the technology undergirding its platform to emerge in upcoming months as the company gains more traction and rolls out upgrades to its platform.
Concurrent Inc. today announces the finalization of $10M in Series B funding in a round led by new investor Bain Capital Ventures, with additional participation from existing investors Rembrandt Ventures and True Ventures. Salil Deshpande, Managing Director of Bain Capital Ventures, will join Concurrent Inc.’s board of directors as a result of today’s funding raise. The funding will be used to accelerate the development of Concurrent’s commercial product Driven as well as Cascading, the framework for developing and managing Big Data applications. Driven fills a critical void within the Big Data industry by providing customers with visibility regarding application performance on Hadoop while Cascading represents one of the most widely used frameworks for application development on Hadoop. Concurrent’s Series B funding raise comes hot on the heels of its elaboration of details regarding Cascading 3.0 and the announcement of partnerships with Hadoop vendor Hortonworks and Databricks. Scheduled for release in the early summer, Cascading 3.0 features support for technology platforms and computational frameworks such as local in-memory, Apache MapReduce and Apache Tez. Meanwhile, Cascading’s partnership with Hortonworks integrates the Cascading SDK into the Hortonworks Data Platform under the terms of an agreement whereby Hortonworks will certify, deliver and support the Cascading framework. Today’s funding raise provides further validation of Concurrent’s business model and empowers it to consolidate its early positioning as a leader in the Big Data space, with specializations in applications that streamline and simplify Hadoop application development and cluster management. With its new round of funding in hand, the industry expect Concurrent Inc. to obtain more traction around its flagship product Driven as it continues to innovate at the forefront of technology platforms that facilitate the effective operationalization of Big Data. Today’s Series B announcement brings the total capital raised by Concurrent Inc. to $14M by building upon a March 2013 Series A round of $4M.