Wheelings & Dealings: ThoughtSpot Raises $10.7M for Business Data Search Appliance

By Ed Silverstein February 06, 2014

ThoughtSpot – an intelligent search and data visualization startup for businesses – has raised some $10.7 million from Lightspeed and other angel investors to finance the building of a business data search appliance.

The data search appliance will let business users – especially enterprises – analyze, explore and search data, and comes at a time when there is great promise in the Big Data sector and related analysis.

The Series A funding round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners – and it illustrates the potential in the overall business intelligence field, as well. “At Lightspeed, we’re extremely excited about our partnership with the ThoughtSpot team as they rethink business intelligence for the enterprise and bring the power of search to business data,” according to a Lightspeed blog post.

The ThoughtSpot startup came from Ajeet Singh, Nutanix co-founder, and Amit Prakash, who worked on Microsoft Bing and Google’s AdSense analytics group. It is based in Redwood City, Calif.

So far, ThoughtSpot is working on a relational search engine and in-memory database. It was developed for medium-sized to large-sized enterprises. It will let them search numerical data, such as sales records.

“The goal for Singh and Prakash when founding the company was giving businesses the ability to access and analyze terabytes of business data with a Google-like ease-of-use,” according to a report from TechCrunch. Search for enterprise data could be similar to searches on Google or Facebook for public data.

“Why not bring the elegance and speed of the Google search experience to the enterprise?” is the question the company wants to answer, Lightspeed said. “Specifically, why not build a simple, clean interface that users can easily understand, paired with the performance and flexibility of an in-memory, scale-out database appliance?”

It may compete with efforts at IBM and other tech companies, but compared to their efforts, Singh believes ThoughtSpot is heading in the correct direction.

To understand the challenge, Lightspeed said in the blog post how currently there is in the business intelligence sector a “complicated mess of reports and dashboards coupled with a very IT-centric approach to serving, accessing, and exploring data.”

“No one has solved the problem of letting a business user directly search and ask questions of … data,” the blog post adds.

Overall, Lightspeed Venture Partners manages over $2 billion of capital, mostly involving early-stage investments in the United States, Asia and Israel. The firm has invested in some 150 tech companies, such as Brocade, Ciena, Phone.com, and Waveset. It clearly sees potential with ThoughtSpot, given current marketplace needs.

In the past decade, the business intelligence sector has seen consolidation and new public companies. SAP, for instance, acquired Business Objects for $6.8 billion in 2009. IBM acquired Cognos for $5 billion in 2008. And Oracle acquired Hyperion for $3.3 billion in 2007. Among newer business intelligence public companies are: Tableau, Qlikview and Splunk.

Looking ahead, the new solution from ThoughtSpot could be lucrative to its investors and users. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

TechZone360 Contributor

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