It’s been a while since the B2B community saw some healthy venture capital, but this week, every deal saw double-digit funding. VCs provided a combined $97 million, all of which landed in the hands of startups working with Big Data and business intelligence. Investors got high-tech this week, and we break down in layman’s terms where all that money went.
Big Data Startup Takes On The Big Guys
Venture capitalists placed big bucks this week in a startup that some analysts say could thwart industry giants like Dell and EMC when it comes to enterprise data storage needs. According to Xconomy reports on Monday (Nov. 2), ClearSky Data, based in Boston, nabbed $27 million in Series B funding. The investment round was led by Polaris Partners and included participation from Akamai, General Catalyst and Highland Capital Partners, reports said.
ClearSky is developing a global network of data storage solutions for other corporations and, according to reports, wants to provide a holistic, end-to-end data solution for businesses already serviced by industry big-timers. But according to Polaris Managing Director Dave Barrett, investors are confident in ClearSky’s potential.
“We’ve entered the next generation of the enterprise and ClearSky has a great opportunity to build the next major infrastructure company,” Barrett said in a statement.
Real Money For Artificial Intelligence
On Wednesday (Nov. 4), VCs got a bit high-tech when they provided $23 million to Appier, a Taiwan-based startup that develops artificial intelligence technologies for the enterprise. According to reports, Sequoia Capital, among others, participated in the Series B funding round.
Appier provides businesses with a way to make their growth efforts more efficient; reports in iamwire explained that, for example, it can help companies identify which customers are omnichannel, and whether a smartphone or a laptop are being used by the same person. Reports said major corporations like IKEA and Heineken are already using Appier services.
The AI is part of Appier’s efforts to get corporations onboard with a new, multi-screen market. “We are living in a post-mobile era: the era of cross-screen,” said Appier CEO and co-founder Chih-Han Yu, according to reports. “Artificial intelligence is the best approach to resolve this complexity and make cross-screen easy.”
He added that “advertising is just the beginning” in terms of applications to this technology. “We believe, in the future our AI can help businesses solve a variety of difficult analytical problems.”
High-Tech B2B Sales
That same day, SnapApp unveiled a $12 million Series A funding round led by Providence Equity Partners. SnapApp provides a way for B2B sellers to create high-tech, interactive content for their corporate buyers in an effort to provide more robust methods of marketing and product information.
According to SnapApp CEO Seth Lieberman, his company’s services are all about helping B2B suppliers become more modern and meet contemporary demands from their corporate clients.
“Buyers are increasingly demanding visual and interactive content that educates and guides them in evaluating solutions to their business challenges,” he said in a statement. “Historically building these kinds of experiences has been slow, expensive and hard to scale. Marketers need solutions to quickly and easily build interactive experiences that deliver more value for their audiences and more value for themselves.”
More Intelligent Searching
Also on the data front, Canada-based Coveo revealed Thursday (Nov. 5) that it secured $35 million in Series D funding from IQ Venture Capital. Coveo provides enterprises with intelligent search solutions, a service the company said is not only crucial to consumers, but to employees, too.
“There is incredibly strong demand for intelligent search-based apps, which enable more relevant, digital customer engagement and a more agile and engaging digital workplace,” said Louis Tetu, CEO of Coveo, in a statement. “Coveo helps to engage customers with more relevancy and upskill employees everywhere they work, with the insights that matter.”
Tetu added that the funding will be used to bring “data-powered experiences to entirely new areas and ecosystems.”
The company already offers solutions like Coveo Cloud, a cloud-based platform that provides robust search capabilities for employees and consumers, as well as services that integrate directly into Salesforce and Sitecore.
B2B eCommerce Gets Attention, Too
There was one outlier this week. Moglix, which is an international B2B marketplace for business and industrial supplies, raised pre-Series A funding from Accel Partner and Jungle Ventures, reports said over the weekend. The company, founded only months ago, did not disclose how much it raised, however.