Even coming off the momentum of 2019, 2020 turned into a stunning turning point for the cloud takeover of AI and analytics (our own editor Alex Woodie described it as “the great cloud migration [starting] to look like a stampede”). Now, a new challenger is staking its claim: StarTree, which just secured $24 million in Series A funding for its cloud analytics-as-a-service offering.
StarTree is built around Apache Pinot, and built by its creators. Apache Pinot, in turn, is a real-time analytics platform designed for low latency and used by customers ranging from LinkedIn, Microsoft Teams, and Slack to Target, Uber, and Walmart (the creators operated the platform for LinkedIn and Uber).
For StarTree and its investors, turning Apache Pinot into a user-facing analytics opportunity represents a multi-billion dollar market opportunity. Those ambitions fueled by successes witnessed at LinkedIn, which uses Apache Pinot to power mainstay pages like “Who Viewed My Profile,” as well as other customers.
“While at LinkedIn, I saw the positive impact that Apache Pinot and Apache Kafka delivered,” said Neha Narkhede, one of the individual investors, a co-founder of Confluent, and a former lead engineer at LinkedIn. “The high-throughput, scalable, real-time analytics made possible by Pinot created new opportunities for LinkedIn and our members, driving improved engagement, delivering new features, and enabling every member direct access to their user analytics.”
The funding round, which builds on StarTree’s $4 million in seed funding raised in November 2019, was led by Bain Capital Ventures and GGV Capital, with participation from CRV (an existing investor). Beyond Narkhede, a series of individual investors participated, with affiliations including DoorDash, Coinbase, GitHub, LinkedIn, Redis Labs and DataStax.
“Businesses struggle to fully realize the value of their massive and growing data,” said Kishore Gopalakrishna, co-founder and CEO of StarTree. “StarTree meets that challenge by meaningfully expanding the types of people who can access and act on real-time data. With StarTree, all technical and non-technical users can make better decisions with the most up-to-date information. We are thrilled to work with top investors like Bain Capital, GGV and CRV to bring our vision to life, as we help businesses reimagine what’s possible with their data.”
StarTree plans to use the $24 million to “spur broad adoption of user-facing analytics” – an increasingly easy sell as the transition to the cloud accelerates.
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