Database Startup MapD Raises $10 Million From Google, Nvidia

MapD Technologies Inc., which makes a fast new type of data analytics software, raised $10 million from Verizon Ventures, Nvidia Corp., Google Ventures and Vanedge Capital Partners, which led the round.

Much of the Series A funding will go toward expanding MapD’s engineering, sales and marketing teams, said Todd Mostak, co-founder and chief executive officer. The company, based in San Francisco, currently has 20 employees, he said in an interview.

MapD’s technology -- a database and a visual analytics system -- helps customers sift through and compare data quickly. The company uses what’s called graphics processing units, or GPUs, which are often used in computer gaming, and are faster than the central processing units traditionally used to power database systems.

GPUs from chipmakers like Nvidia are also being used in speech recognition systems and software to develop gene therapies. MapD’s use of the processors in its tools is what drew corporate investors like Nvidia and Alphabet Inc.’s Google Ventures, which invested in its seed round and again in the Series A, according to the firm.

“It’s really nice to have these strategics at the table because they have first-hand knowledge about what’s important on the corporate side,” Mostak said.

MapD was founded in 2013, with help from Mostak’s research on GPU-based databases at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The company counts Verizon Communications Inc. and Simulmedia Inc. among customers for its systems, which can be installed in a company’s data centers or delivered online through the cloud.

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