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May 19, 2015

Cloud BI, Machine Learning Startups Attract Investors

George Leopold

A pair of analytics startups announced successful funding rounds this week as investment capital continues to pour into the big data market.

San Francisco-based DataHero, a cloud business intelligence vendor, said Tuesday (May 19) it raised $6.1 million in Series A funding round led by existing investor Foundry Group. DataHero’s “self-service” business intelligence platform allows users to quickly log in and visualize cloud data.

Separately, data science specialist Feedzai said Monday (May 18) it raised $17.5 million in a Series B funding round led by Oak HC/FT along with existing investors Sapphire Ventures (formerly SAP Ventures) and Espirito Santo Ventures. Feedzai focuses on helping banks and retailers use real-time, machine learning to analyze data and detect fraud.

Feedzai, San Mateo, Calif., said the new financing would be used to expand its engineering and sales teams to meet global customer demand for its software platform. The data science startup said its fraud detection service API for developers was handling more than 300 percent more transactions by the end of 2014.

Feedzai’s customers include First Data, Celfocus, Coca-Cola, Logica, Vodafone, Ericsson and Servebase Credit Card Solutions. The startup’s machine learning platform is designed to help prevent fraud by turning the management of risk and fraud into a real-time decision science as a way to help payment providers, banks and retailers. The company’s software is used to predict and prevent payment loss when shopping in store, online or via mobile devices.

Feedzai and others are building on the big data trend of attempting to make data science more accessible to a broader range of workers. More corporate users translate into more licensing fees and other revenues for vendors.

Likewise, Ryan McIntyre, Foundry Group managing director, said its it latest investment in DataHero was prompted by “a real market gap for data analysis for the non-technical user,” adding, “companies need to shift from traditional gut-based decision making to a data-driven mindset for everyone in the organization.”

Along with its new funding, DataHero also announced this week that software industry veteran Ed Miller is joining the company as CEO. Miller has led several technology start ups, most recently document manager suite developer Xythos.

DataHero is betting it can fill the existing gap in the multi-billion cloud business intelligence market for improving self-service tools needed by typical cloud users.

The startup said the new investments would be used to expand development of its core technology and scale its support infrastructure to meet growing global demand for cloud-based business intelligence.

The DataHero drag-and-drop interface is designed so users can import and analyze data from sources such as Salesforce, Google Analytics and Dropbox, the company said. The company launched its Google Analytics integration last December in response to customer demand.

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