UPDATED 16:47 EDT / NOVEMBER 09 2021

BIG DATA

Alphabet’s CapitalG joins $250M round for data management startup Collibra

Data management startup Collibra Inc. is now valued at $5.25 billion, more than double what it was worth last April, after raising $250 million from a group of investors that included Alphabet Inc.’s CapitalG investment arm.

Collibra announced the investment this morning. 

The funding round also saw the participation of Tiger Global Management, Battery Ventures, Dawn Capital, Durable Capital Partners, Iconiq Capital and Index Ventures. Sequoia Capital Global Equities and Sofina jointly led the round.

Before a company can use its business data in an analytics project, certain key requirements have to be met. The company must ensure that the records required for the project can be easily retrieved from the systems where they’re stored. The data needs to be accurate and not contain any errors or duplicate entries. Data processing, meanwhile, has to be carried out in compliance with regulations. Collibra offers a platform called the Data Intelligence Cloud that helps enterprises meet such key requirements.

Retrieving the information needed for an analytics initiative can involve a lot of work depending on the project. To prepare a revenue forecast, for example, a company with a dozen subsidiaries may have to retrieve the latest sales records from a dozen different databases. Collibra provides a data catalog as part of its platform that enables employees to access information from multiple systems in a single, centralized interface, which can save a great deal of time.

After the needed information has been assembled, data scientists must perform a variety of other preparatory tasks. That includes taking steps to ensure the information is accurate. According to Collibra, its platform automatically detects if a dataset contains errors to ease the workflow for users.

Also in the interest of making data easier to work with, Collibra provides the ability to create a so-called business glossary. A business glossary can help companies address the fact that different business units often define key data concepts in different ways.

In a large enterprise, one business unit might use the term “subscription sales” to describe the quarterly revenues from a subscription product. Meanwhile, a second team may use the same term to describe annual rather than quarterly revenues generated by the product. Such differences directly influence how information is organized in a company’s databases. As a result, they can sometime make it difficult for data scientists to collect and process information for analytics projects.

Collibra’s business glossary feature allows companies to create a centralized library of business terms to make navigating internal datasets easier. Organizations can also use the platform to log various other details about their datasets. Collibra tracks where each given record was generated, how it has been modified and other contextual details that are useful for ensuring information used in analytics projects meets quality standards. 

Collibra says its platform is deployed at more than 500 companies worldwide. The startup’s customer roster includes seven of the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies, 70% of the largest U.S. banks and several of the world’s top retailers.

Collibra argues its platform can be useful for, among other use cases, speeding up cloud projects. Migrating an application to a new environment requires moving not only the software itself but also all the associated data. Collibra says that the features it provides for ensuring data quality standards are met can simplify certain key technical challenges involved in cloud projects.

“We are seeing overwhelming demand for our platform, and the interest from the investor community further validates our approach to helping our customers drive value from their own data,” said Collibra founder and Chief Executive Officer Felix Van de Maele (pictured). “We are the only company in the industry that provides a single, fully integrated cloud-native platform to enable customers to accelerate their digital transformation journey.”

Collibra will use the new funding to enhance its platform’s feature set and expand its partner ecosystem. As part of the initiative, the startup plans to boost its existing partnerships with Amazon Web Services Inc., Google Cloud, Snowflake Inc. and Salesforce.com Inc.’s Tableau unit. Collibra will grow its engineering, sales, customer success and product teams to support the effort with a goal of doubling its workforce by 2023. 

Photo: Index Ventures

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