DataGravity Pulls In $30M More to Go Big in Business Analytics

1/29/13Follow @gthuang

Gravity is at the core of the universe’s greatest mysteries. How Einstein’s general theory of relativity jibes with the Big Bang. How quantum theory might explain all forces at the smallest scales. And now: how a young company just might find the Holy Grail of “big data” analytics, by helping businesses extract insights from piles of corporate information.

OK, this is big business we’re talking about, not big science. But Paula Long holds her own, quoting an apocryphal saying in the tech industry: “God created the world in seven days because he didn’t have to worry about an installed base.”

Long is the co-founder and CEO of DataGravity, based in Nashua, NH. Her point, as I see it, is that big established companies can’t really solve the big-data problem. They’re too entrenched in old ways of storing data, analyzing it, and moving it around; they’re bogged down with legacy systems and existing customers. “You have to look and organize things in a totally different way,” Long says.

At this point, I should mention that DataGravity has just raised $30 million in Series B funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. That’s New England’s biggest tech-financing deal of the year so far, and it’s bound to stir up lots of interest. The round includes the startup’s previous investors, General Catalyst and Charles River Ventures. All of a sudden, DataGravity is one of the better-funded startups in the Boston area, with $42 million raised to date. And we don’t even know yet what the company is building.

What we do know is that DataGravity plans to release its product in 2014; it will consist of both software and hardware (but mostly software). The startup has about 30 employees now and is shooting for 45 to 50 by the end of this year. Currently it is hiring in development, marketing, sales, and support.

Long and her co-founder, John Joseph, who serves as DataGravity’s president, are veterans of EqualLogic, the storage company bought by Dell for $1.4 billion in 2007—reputed to be the biggest cash purchase of a private tech company to that point in history. Long was an EqualLogic co-founder, and after spending a couple of years at Dell, she did a stint at Rethink Robotics (fka Heartland Robotics) as vice president of engineering before starting her current venture.

I pressed Long and Joseph for some details about what they’re working on. The big idea, Long says, is “how do you extract information from storage” and “make the ever-growing storage burden an asset rather than a liability?” That means, among other things, providing software that takes a … Next Page »

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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