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March 19, 2014

Platfora’s $65 Million War on the Gut Decision

Ben Werther

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It is a big day at Platfora. Earlier this morning we announced $38 million in new VC financing (for total funding to date of $65 million) to double down on growth, after a stellar 2013 that blew past all of our expectations. Later this afternoon, I’ll deliver a brief address to hundreds of business executives at the Gigaom Structure:Data Conference, declaring publicly our war on gut decision making.

Why are we targeting the gut decision? Because it’s the decision method that business executives and world leaders are using 95 percent of the time—even though we are awash in big data and business intelligence technologies. And when you consider how fast the world is moving today, and how much is at risk as issues in public health, global security, commerce and finance become more complex, it seems crazy that gut decisions should prevail any longer over data-informed decisions.

The culprits are time, money and technology. Just three years ago, even if a company had a data science department coupled with an eight-figure IT budget and the latest SQL-based databases and BI tools, it still took a painful amount of time to obtain and load data, model and prepare it, and then organize a team of business analysts, programmers, data scientists and IT professionals to produce insights from it. And more often than not, that data would be prepared based on incorrect assumptions, which would result in several rework cycles that ensured some or all of the data’s value would be unintentionally lost by the end of the project.

New Funding Enables us to Bring Big Data Analytics to the Mainstream
But things are changing very fast thanks to Big Data Analytics. Unlike any BI tool going back 30 years to the spreadsheet, organizations can now remove the barriers that have thwarted instant, fact-based decision-making on a mass scale. As an example, one Platfora customer had earmarked $100 million for a 36-month project to enable executive-level visibility into a handful of channels of large-scale customer interaction data. But instead, the company achieved most of the project’s goals within four days and at just a small fraction of the original project budget.

It’s a transformational result like this that garnered the interest of our newest investors Tenaya Capital, Citi Ventures, Cisco and Allegis Capital. In addition, all of our prior investors Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures and In-Q-Tel joined in as well.

I’m very proud of the Platfora team and our accomplishments thus far. And I’m just as proud to say that we maintain a significant first-to-market advantage because no other company besides Platfora can put interactive self-service analytics tools in the hands of line-of-business people, that can mix customer interaction, machine and transactional data for infinite correlations across an infinite amount of data so that enterprises can meet and exceed their business goals in the Fact-based Economy. Our customers such as Citi, Comcast, DirecTV, Disney, Edmunds.com, Opower, Riot Games, Vivint and The Washington Post use Platfora as their permanent path to success with big data analytics. We hope that 2014 is the year that Platfora helps every data-centric enterprise find its path to fact-based decision-making.

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