Ayasdi raises $30.6m for big data, machine learning

The U.S. startup won't call it "big data," but it's a huge splash in the enterprise either way.


Palo Alto, Calif.-based Ayasdi announced this morning that it raised $30.6 million for its "Insight Discovery" technology, which promises to discover — automatically and quickly — relevant queries for extremely complex datasets.

That's a bit different from many self-proclaimed "big data" companies today that are focused on speeding up the process of querying increasingly large datasets. (And is precisely why the company is averse to using the buzzword.) The Ayasdi approach flips the process on its head, equipping line-of-business executives with similar abilities as data scientists.

The Series B funding round included Institutional Venture Partners, better known as IVP, as well as Citi Ventures, GE Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Floodgate. IVP's Steve Harrick will join Ayasdi's board.

It's not hard to imagine various industries salivating over the possibility of applying such a technology to their businesses. Indeed, just six months after Ayasdi's formal debut, the company has already inked deals with General Electric, Citigroup, Merck, Anadarko, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University of California San Francisco, Mount Sinai Hospital, Texas A&M University and Harvard Medical School.

It also formed partnerships with Cloudera and Pivotal, the EMC-VMWare joint venture. (Not bad for two quarters' worth of work.)

So what will Ayasdi do with all that dough? Buy a sales team, for starters. The company's technologist founders have managed to piece together all those deals without a significant sales force; given its trajectory thus far, it's going to need quite a bit more help.

The startup will also plow a bunch of that money back into its technology in an attempt to refine its machine learning techniques and improve the tool's workflow. Whatever's left will be used to double the company in twelve months. (No big!)

To get the skinny on everything, we spoke with co-founder and chief executive Gurjeet Singh. Visit ZDNet tomorrow to read that interview.