Adatao takes in $13M to help enterprises understand their data

Adatao, a big data startup, has brought in $13 million in a series A funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Bloomberg Beta. As part of the deal, Peter Levine of Andreessen Horowitz will join the startup’s board of directors and Marc Andreessen will act as an advisor, said Adatao co-founder and CEO Christopher Nguyen, a former director of engineering for Google (s goog) Apps.
Although many startups– companies like Metanautix and AppDynamics —  focus on making sense out of enormous amounts of company data, Adatao stands out from the rest by using Apache Spark to power its easy-to-understand user interface, which resembles Google Docs, explained Nguyen.
Adatao’s software sits on top of the Spark in-memory data-processing framework, which the Adatao team chose because it’s a whole lot quicker at processing data than MapReduce.
“One thing I learned at Google is that speed is a very important feature,” said Nguyen. “The difference between five seconds and five minutes is not sixty times — it is infinite.”
In the Adatao interface, a user can go through whatever data has been linked up with Adatao and collaborate with his or her database experts who can use machine-learning algorithms to figure out relationships or causations that might be hidden in the data; the interface allows multiple users to view the datasets at the same time and should make Google Docs users feel at home.

Adatao collaboration

Adatao collaboration

To make the lives of database coders easier, Adatao’s API lets them perform queries on the data using common languages like Python, SQL, Scala and Java and streamlines often complex statistical computing code like R and SAS into a single-line format.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based startup also has a natural-language query feature that let users enter text commands in order to get the system to perform analytical duties like comparing one set of data to the next.
Adatao natural-language query feature

Adatao natural-language query feature

Right now, companies have to install Adatao’s software on premises, but plans are in the works for the startup to partner with other companies who are interested in running Adatao on top of their own cloud platform; the recently launched Databricks Cloud counts Adatao as one of its partners that it runs on top of its own service.
Post and thumbnail images courtesy of Shutterstock user Ai825.