Python-Powered Analytics + New Age Ads: This Week in Big Data

This week was an exciting stretch for big data. One emerging player raised nearly $30 million in funding after implementing a new way of analyzing consumer trends; DARPA bought a stake in the future of Python; and IBM strengthened its already massive analytics line-up with a strategic buy.

First up is the Boston-based DataXu, receiving $27 million in funding from Thomvest Ventures, Atlas Venture, Flybridge Capital Partners and Menlo Venture. The startup, which reported a 700 percent increase in revenue for 2012, sells software that allows marketers to buy ad space based on real-time changes in consumer behavior.

DataXu’s user base is comprised primarily of large enterprises that maintain a large presence across multiple ad exchanges. Human resources alone are not enough to maintain operational efficiency on a certain scale, and that’s where the startup’s software kicks in.  See our initial coverage for more details.

Then there’s DARPA, the agency in charge of developing bleeding edge technology for the DoD, invested $3 million in  Continuum Analytics on the same day DataXu announced that it has closed its latest funding round.

Continuum is a Texas-based firm that develops big data solutions in Python, a popular programming language that’s widely implemented in web applications and online services. DARPA wants more developers to create software that makes intelligent use of information, so it provided Continuum with the resources it needs to lead the way for the Python community.   The company promised it will use the funding to create the “next generation of tools to make Python as powerful and successful for big data and business data analytics as it has been for science, engineering, and scalable computing.”

Also this week, IBM acquired Star Analytics for an undisclosed amount. The startup makes software that automates data integration across both the private and public cloud.