RapidMiner Reels In $5M, Makes Big Push in Boston for Big Data

11/4/13Follow @gthuang

Just when the hype of big data is wearing off is when real businesses are getting built. Take a look at RapidMiner, a German analytics company that’s setting up U.S. headquarters in the Boston area as it looks to expand in North America.

RapidMiner (formerly known as Rapid-I) has been around since 2006 but has just raised its first venture funding, a $5 million Series A round led by two European funds, Earlybird Venture Capital and Open Ocean Capital.

With this deal, the company is bringing some big names aboard: Open Ocean partner Monty Widenius is a founder of MySQL, and data-mining expert Usama Fayyad, a Yahoo and Microsoft veteran, is also joining RapidMiner’s board of directors.

RapidMiner makes open source software that helps businesses analyze data on a large scale and make predictions for business intelligence. The company stands out in a crowded field because it has 400-plus paying customers (including PayPal, Pepsi, Sanofi, and Siemens) and has bootstrapped itself to profitability.

In a press release, Fayyad touted RapidMiner’s ease of use for business people who don’t have programming expertise. That’s a big goal for the current generation of analytics software makers; previously you had to be a techie to use such tools.

All in all, it sounds like a welcome addition to the Boston-area big data cluster. In the past year, RapidMiner has opened small offices in Burlington, MA, and San Francisco, and now it expects to get a new local office space and make new hires. The company is led by CEO and co-founder Ingo Mierswa, who will split his time between Dortmund, Germany, and the Boston area.

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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