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August 16, 2022

Business Intelligence Platform Omni Launches with $27M

Business intelligence platform Omni publicly launched today with $26.9 million in total funding. The company believes users shouldn’t have to choose between a governed model and a fast business intelligence tool, and it bills its product as the only BI platform that combines the consistency of a shared data model with the freedom of SQL.

Omni’s unified BI platform automatically builds a sandbox data model as users query and allows them to promote metrics to an official, shared model that can be used by the whole organization. The company says many data tools are point solutions that solve problems created by pendulum swings between user empowerment and organizational control, and rather than existing as a single-use case tool for the data stack, the Omni platform features cohesive capabilities for speed, flexibility, and performance that do not involve tradeoffs between data consistency and governance.

“Working with data should be collaborative and fast-paced, but that shouldn’t be at the expense of overall organizational data integrity,” said Colin Zima, CEO of Omni and the former chief analytics officer at Looker. “We’ve seen first-hand how tools that specialize – and therefore force tradeoffs – are doomed to fail on the promise of business intelligence. We built Omni to fill the gap between instant-gratification analytics and the reliability and governance of mature enterprise BI.”

Omni was founded last February by CEO Zima and President Jamie Davidson, both of whom had lead roles at Looker, the vendor of a browser-based BI visualization tool, as well as HotelTonight and Google. Chris Merrick, the company’s CTO, led engineering teams at Stitch and Talend and helped develop the open source projects Singer and dbt. The company says it was founded “to give organizations the freedom to work collaboratively with the control of a single source of truth.”

Omni promises to meet users where they are as far as technical skills, and that companies should be able to empower more employees to use data without the duplicated dashboards and inconsistent metrics that self-service initiatives sometimes incur, which can ultimately lead to a drop in data quality and efficiency.

Omni’s founders. From left to right: Chris Merrick, Colin Zima, and Jamie Davidson. Source: LinkedIn

“At the core of Omni is the idea that building a data model should be a collaborative, interactive experience — as easy as building a query or a chart. Our goal is to serve an organization’s entire BI needs, so people won’t be confronted with tradeoffs between freedom and consistency or tension between data and business teams,” company leaders wrote in a blog post. “We’ve made a single product that can start with exploration, graduate to visualization, and then be promoted into a data model for reuse when appropriate.”

Investors seem amenable to helping Omni explore its market niche. The company plans to use its new cash to expand its platform and team. For its $26.9 million total funding, a previous $9.4 million Seed round was led by First Round and joined by Redpoint, GV, Box Group, Quiet, Scribble, and more than 100 angel investors. A $17.5 million Series A round was led by Redpoint, with participation from First Round and GV.

“We’re thrilled to work with Omni — and I’m excited to back them as an angel investor — because they make it possible to have it all: consistency, reliability, and speed,” said Parker Conrad, CEO and co-founder of workforce platform Rippling. “In fact, we share a worldview as builders of compound startups. Our challenges couldn’t possibly be solved by narrow point solutions, and the Omni team has taken the far harder but more helpful path of building a platform with breadth and depth. As repeat leaders in the same corporate space, they’ve seen firsthand the opportunity and how best to address it going forward, something that’s clearly informed the product we’re using today.”

“As the folks responsible for helping to create the BI category in the first place, there’s no one better positioned to take BI into its next era,” said Tomasz Tunguz, partner at Redpoint, who is joining the Board. “The scale of their ambition is huge, which is fitting: It takes an audacious team to try to combine the speed of analytics with the consistency of enterprise BI. We’re thrilled to partner at the beginning of what will be an amazing journey.”

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