Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Cloudera Lands $40 Million From Ignition, Accel Launches $100 Million Big Data Fund

Elephants, it seems, are attracting money. As Hadoop World gets underway in New York today, Cloudera, the start-up company that is putting on the event, has landed a big new investor.

A day after teaming up with the storage concern NetApp, Cloudera announced today that it has landed a $40 million series D round of venture capital funding from Ignition Partners, in a round led by its partner, Frank Artale. Previous investors include Accel Partners, Greylock Partners, Meritech Capital Partners and In-Q-Tel. Cloudera says it will use the funds to expand its marketing and sales operations. By my count, the round brings Cloudera’s total capital raised so far to $76 million.

Cloudera has been on a roll — it’s the Hadoop outfit that many companies are turning to when they decide to tackle their big-data problems. Among its customers are eBay, AOL, Facebook and Groupon. While Hadoop itself is free for anyone to download and install from the Apache Software Foundation, Cloudera provides support and training, and an enterprise-ready version of Hadoop that has been tweaked for easier deployment in big companies.

And that’s not all the new money sloshing around the world of Hadoop, the open source project with the cute cartoon elephant as its mascot. (Hence the money-origami elephant pictured above.)

Accel Partners, which led Cloudera’s last round, is launching a $100 million “Big Data Fund,” with Cloudera as a partner. The point, Accel partner Ping Li told me, is to fund companies working in what he calls the “big data stack,” whether that’s in infrastructure like storage or security or management, or building applications that run on Hadoop. And the opportunities for that are multiplying, he told me.

“We’re seeing an undercurrent of picks-and-shovels kind of innovation around solving big data problems,” Li told me in an email. The volume of data is exploding at such a rate that it’s breaking traditional data-management technology like relational databases. It’s a problem that touches practically every industry. The fund will be overseen by several Accel partners based in the U.S., Europe, China and India.

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