UPDATED 11:26 EST / JULY 12 2018


Tamr raises $18M for its campaign to unify data siloes

Data integration vendor Tamr Inc. Wednesday said it has closed an $18 million funding round to continue development and expand sales channels for what it calls a “machine-driven, human-guided approach to data unification.”

That brings the Cambridge, Mass.-based company’s total funding to $65 million, said Chief Executive Andy Palmer. That’s less than the nine-figure amounts raised by some of its competitors, but “we believe it’s more than enough to get to cash-flow positive,” Palmer said. “We’re a small number of years from that, or maybe even a few quarters.”

Tamr’s pedigree includes Palmer, who co-founded big data vendor Vertica Systems Inc. and sold it to the then-Hewlett-Packard Co. in 2011, and Michael Stonebraker (pictured), a Turing Award-winning computer scientist and serial entrepreneur whose track record includes developing Ingres, one of the first relational database management systems. This is the fifth company the two co-founders have started together.

Palmer said the company positions data unification as a stage between data cataloging services provided by firms like Alation Inc. and Waterline Data Inc. and the growing breed of self-service analytics products from vendors like Alteryx Inc. and Paxata Inc.

“Once you have a catalog of all your data, you need to rationalize all the attributes across them in the context of key entities like customers, suppliers and products,” he said. “A gap now exists where companies don’t have a handle on this information because they’re automated in a very siloed way.” He said one Tamr customer has 165 different sources of data about customers. “If you want to know who your customer is, you need to unify all that data,” he said.

Tamr aims to eliminate much of the delay and manual work involved in harmonizing data from multiple sources. “With data unification, you have a single reference table for an entity such as customers or parts that represents all the data across the company,” he said. If the underlying data in the table changes, the system automatically recommends corresponding changes to dependent analytics. The company’s patented technology was documented in this 2013 research paper.

Participants in the latest round of funding include new investors SBI Investment Co. Ltd., Intage Open Innovation Fund, Samsung Ventures America, Fenox Venture Capital Inc. and Alumni Ventures Group, with additional participation from founding investors New Enterprise Associates Inc. and GV, the venture capital arm of Alphabet Inc.

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