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November 17, 2020

Data Exchange Maker Harbr Closes Series A

(Marko Aliaksandr/Shutterstock)

Harbr, a London startup that helps organizations like Moody’s Analytics to create their own custom data exchanges, yesterday announced that it has completed a Series A round of financing, netting $38.5 million for the growing concern.

Gartner predicts that enterprise adoption of data exchanges will increase by 40% over the next two years. According to Harbr, that mirrors the type of growth that it’s seen since coming out of stealth back in May.

Harbr develops a platform that others can use to create their own private data exchanges, which in turn they can use to share data with their own customers and partners, and to foster collaboration. A core element to the process, the company says, is “convert[ing] data into products that are easy to find, use, share, and manage.”

The platform supports data in any format, including structured and unstructured data. It helps customers convert data, models, document and “even code” into “ready-to-use, monetizable products.” Customers retain control over who can access and consume the data products they share on Harbr, and the company also provides ways to help price the data products and charge for consumption.

Harbr’s data exchange supports “spaces” that come pre-loaded with support for common data science tools, such as Anaconda, Zeppelin, Spark, and Hadoop. A range of data endpoints for inputting data from S3, Google Cloud, and Azure Blob store, are also configured out of the box.

One early Harbr user is Moody’s Analytics, a subsidiary of the Moody’s ratings company that provides access to economic research tools. Michael Salk, managing director of content distribution at Moody’s Analytics, says Harbr “allows us to quickly and easily create and customize data products to streamline access and consumption for both customers and our internal users.”

While the Internet has removed limitations for data sharing, Harbr maintains there is immense potential to grow data exchanges. Currently, the cloud providers dominate the space, with last November’s launch of AWS Data Exchange, as well as Azure Data Share (which launched in July 2019), and Snowflake Marketplace (which launched a month earlier). Google so far has failed to impress with its limited data exchange, according to an Eckerson Group white paper on the topic.

Harbr’s platform allows organizations to host their own data exchanges

Despite the entries of big tech firms, there is still room for smaller players to differentiate and offer value, according to Gary Butler, CEO and co-founder of Harbr.

“Despite significant investments in data-focused technologies and teams over the last decade, most enterprises are still unable to deliver targeted outcomes from data in a timely and scalable manner,” Butler says in a press release. “The secure data sharing and collaboration capabilities of Harbr’s enterprise data exchange platform fast-track those outcomes.”

The Series A investment was co-led by investors Dawn Capital and Tiger Global Management, which are new investors in Harbr. This brings the company’s total funding to $52 million.

According to Dawn Capital partner Evgenia Plotnikova, is Harbr is among “the vanguard” of companies helping to lead the way in data exchanges.

“For data to become truly powerful, we need more automation and collaboration. Today, human efforts are consumed by finding and preparing data, rather than focused on high-value activities that drive real productivity gains,” Plotnikova said in a press release. “Customers we’ve spoken to find Harbr’s enterprise data exchange transformative, and their engagement across Fortune 1000 companies substantiates this.”

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