Hortonworks lands $100m round to grow Hadoop

There's big interest among private investors in big data, with a second round in as many weeks going to an enterprise Hadoop vendor.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Enterprise Hadoop vendor Hortonworks has landed $100m in venture capital ahead of its planned IPO sometime next year.

The investment round in the big data Hadoop provider was led by BlackRock and hedge fund Passport Capital, and follows last week's even bigger $160m round for rival Hadoop vendor Cloudera.

Hortonworks' existing investors include Tenaya Capital, Dragoneer Investment Group, Benchmark Capital, Index Ventures and Yahoo. The company was spun out by engineers at Yahoo, where Hadoop was given birth.  

Hortonworks has more than 100 customers to date and last year was focusing on expanding into the EMEA region in addition to building partnerships with a number of large vendors, including Microsoft, Teradata, Rackspace, and more recently Red Hat and alongside SAP's HANA efforts.

Hortonworks CEO Rob Bearden, formerly a senior exec at SpringSource, JBoss and Oracle, has made a point of distinguishing its pure open source approach compared with rivals such as EMC's Pivotal, Cloudera and MapR, which use open source components at the core bundled with proprietary features.

"We're building directly in the core trunk, productizing the package, doing QA and releasing," he said of its contributions to the Apache open source project. "It's not an open core model."

The approach and Hortonworks' technology was at least enough for online music streaming startup Spotify to switch from Cloudera to the company last year.

Bearden told Reuters in August last year that the company intended to go public within the next 12 to 15 months. He said partnerships with Microsoft and Teradata generated about 70 percent of its revenue from support subscription services, with the remaining 30 percent coming from training and consulting.

Research into Hadoop use in July last year by data-integration company Syncsort showed Cloudera leading the field with 41 percent of the framework's use in Europe, followed by core Apache code on 30 percent, Hortonworks on 18 percent and MapR on nine percent.

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