Analytics-focused database startup Imply Data Inc. has reached “unicorn” status after closing on a $100 million late-stage round of funding that brings its value north of $1 billion.
Today’s Series D round was led by new investor Thoma Bravo, with participation from OMERS Growth Equity and existing backers Bessemer Venture Funds, Andreessen Horowitz and Khosla Ventures. To date, Imply has now raised $215 million in venture capital funding.
Imply was founded by the creators of the open-source Apache Druid database that’s designed to power real-time analytics. It’s an alternative to traditional data warehouses, for use in scenarios where speed is the main priority. Think financial institutions that need to analyze streams of incoming data to detect fraud, for example.
The Druid database is very fast, capable of ingesting millions of data points per second while simultaneously executing queries with subsecond latency. Imply Enterprise, the commercial version of Druid sold by Imply, is a cloud-hosted managed service that adds in advanced analytics tools that can detect patterns in data. It also provides a graphical analytics interface that visualizes the patterns it detects. Furthermore, it has tools that simplify database management.
Imply isn’t the only fast database service around. Competitors such as MongoDB and Apache Cassandra are also popular with application developers. Other rivals include Google LLC with its Cloud Dataflow database and Amazon Web Services Inc. with Amazon Kinesis Analytics service.
In an interview with SiliconANGLE last year, Imply claimed that its service has a number of attributes that set it apart from those rivals. For instance, it’s “interactive,” meaning that queries can be created on the fly, with answers and insights obtained immediately. It also claims to be more scalable, with a more compelling price-to-performance ratio.
More recent developments have seen Imply launch a new version of its database: Imply Polaris, which is a fully managed database-as-a-service offering based on Apache Druid. Last March, it also introduced a new multistage query engine in Druid that adds support for advanced reports and complex alerts alongside its interactive, real-time analytics capabilities.
Imply has won over a number of fans, with the likes of Atlassian Corp. Plc., Salesforce.com Inc., Netflix Inc. and Confluent Inc. all signing up to use its platform.
Imply Chief Executive Fangjin Yang said he was heartened by the versatility of the database he helped create. “In its early days, Druid was adopted for a set of use cases in a handful of industries,” he said. “Today, developers have shown its applicability across all industries — and the use cases have expanded exponentially.”
Thoma Bravo Partner Robert Sayle said he believes the company is at the cusp of an evolution in data analytics. “It was clear from the beginning of our relationship that we would enjoy a strong partnership with management, and they very much appreciated the level of experience we bring to the table as software-only investors over the last 20 years,” Sayle said.
Yang recently appeared on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE’s mobile livestreaming studio, where he discussed how Imply is making a difference in database management and real-time analytics: