Big Money Keeps Flowing to Big Data Companies

Photographer: Daneger/Getty Images

Photographer: Daneger/Getty Images

The technology industry's big promises about big data haven't quite materialized. Organizations and governments are amassing huge amounts of digital information, but they're often finding the tools aren't sophisticated enough to provide much insight.

Investors are keeping the dream alive, pouring more money into corporate data-analysis software. Tel Aviv-based SiSense announced yesterday that it raised $30 million in a financing round led by DFJ Growth. In March, Intel and other investors said they kicked a whopping $900 million into Cloudera.

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The public markets have been pretty friendly to big-data companies as well. Tableau Software's stock price has more than doubled since its initial public offering in May 2013. Splunk is up 169 percent since it went public in April 2012.

Amit Bendov, SiSense's chief executive officer, claims his company can handle 100 times more data than Tableau's system. The Israeli startup's customers, including EBay, Target, ESPN and NASA, are spread across 49 countries. Bendov says the company has tripled its staff in the last two years.

The market for big-data technology and services is expected to grow 27 percent a year to $32.4 billion through 2017, according to research firm IDC. SiSense's software is designed to be as easy as Microsoft Excel and doesn't require users to write code. But the startup will have to jockey with countless other companies that make similar claims and had a head start.

"The biggest thing is for us to get our brand name out," Bendov says. "We need to run as fast as we can."

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