Cloudera has received a financial nod from Google and Michael Dell. The enterprise analytic data management company closed a new round of funding totaling $160 million. That brings Cloudera's total venture capital funding to date to $300 million.
Top tier industrial and strategic investors participated in the latest round of financing. Led by T. Rowe Price and three other top-tier public market investors, names like Google Ventures and an affiliate of MSD Capital, L.P., the private investment firm for Michael S. Dell and his family, were on the list.
"Cloudera is successfully helping enterprises exploit big data and manage the transition to becoming more data centric," said Henry Ellenbogen, portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund. "With strong leadership, an ability to innovate, a satisfied customer base, and a large partner community, we believe Cloudera is well positioned to build a durable and leading company in this space."
How Cloudera Will Use the Money
Cloudera will use the funds to drive growth in the months and years ahead. Specifically, the company will invest venture capital dollars to evangelize the enterprise adoption of and innovation in Hadoop; to promote the enterprise data hub market; to support expansion into Europe and Asia; to expand its services and support capabilities; and to scale the field and engineering organizations.
The Apache Hadoop software library is a framework that allows for the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers using simple programming models. The software is designed to scale up from single servers to thousands of machines, each offering local computation and storage.
Data is not only strategic, it's mission-critical to enterprises in an information-driven era. Hadoop has emerged as the go-to option for underlying data management because it makes it possible to store, process and analyze larger and more complex data sets than many alternatives.
"We see broad demand from enterprises who want a flexible approach to handling large amounts of data, and we expect this market to continue to grow rapidly," said Google Ventures General Partner Karim Faris. "Cloudera is dramatically lowering the cost of reliable storage for the enterprise and is enabling the analysis and mining of large data sets in a way that wasn't possible before."
The Future of Data Warehousing?
Cloudera brings unique features to the Hadoop world, such as real-time query with its open-source Impala, real-time search support via Lucene and Solr, security through its Apache Sentry project, and integrated governance, compliance, reporting and disaster recovery. Cloudera has also won attention for its enterprise data hub, which the company said lets enterprises take on large-scale, more advanced and diverse workloads.
"When Cloudera emerged from stealth in 2009, the vision was to bring Hadoop to the enterprise," said Tom Reilly, chief executive officer at Cloudera. "At the time, the idea of 'big data' was on the cusp of adoption. Five years later, Cloudera is setting the standard for how enterprises across all verticals are managing their big data. The market demand for these technologies is fierce as companies realize the competitive advantage and strategic value of their data."
We turned to Brad Shimmin, a principal analyst at Current Analysis, to get his take on the investment. He told us monies from Google and Dell are a strong endorsement for Cloudera and further validation of the efficacy of adopting modern data repositories like Hadoop.
"In the past, enterprises putting together a data strategy used technologies to build data warehouses that were pretty cumbersome, pretty onerous to maintain and pretty costly to build, too," Shimmin said. "When you look at how companies like Cloudera and other Apache Hadoop distributors have been building their solutions, you can see that this is a distributed file system that's capable of much more than it was originally intended for. It's something that can serve as a very flexible data repository to perhaps become the more modern data warehouse."