Investors Continue to Target Real-Time Analytics

| October 28, 2020

By: George Leopold–Technology investors are betting emerging applications such as recommendation engines and supply chain logistics will further drive demand for real-time analytics. With more data in motion, cloud-native platforms that can scale are especially attractive.

Among those attracting funding is Rockset Inc., which emerged from stealth mode in 2018. Initially positioned as an SQL cloud service, the four-year-old startup now promotes itself as a real-time indexing database vendor.

Rockset, San Mateo, Calif., announced a $40 million funding round on Tuesday (Oct. 27) led by Sequoia Capital. Greylock Partners also participated in the Series B funding round.  Both investors participated in earlier funding rounds. Rockset said it has so far raised $61.5 million.

Separately, the company announced a new deployment model for real-time indexing on virtual private clouds running on Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN). The managed cloud service would allow customers to retain control of their data within an AWS account. The result is what Rockset described as “self-driving private deployments.”

The deployment model also responds to growing enterprise data security requirements, the company said.

Meanwhile, the latest investments underscores growing enterprise demand for real-time analytics on large volumes of data in motion. Rockset asserts it has addressed the tradeoffs between operational complexity when attempting to scale applications and slow, expensive data warehouse deployments.

“Our investors saw the same things we see in our work with application developers,” Rockset CEO Venkat Venkataramani noted in a blog post announcing it new venture funding. “That there is an incredible amount of data in motion today that can be harnessed, in real time, to improve decision making, operational efficiencies and business results.”

Rockset’s transition to data indexing responds to the lack of real-time analytics capabilities in data warehouses that largely focus on batch analytics. The company’s founders drew on their experience with backend systems used in search engines and news feeds, deploying it on a cloud-native architecture designed to help developers more easily scale data applications.

While distributed online transaction processing systems like Cockroach Labs and Google Spanner provide data loss protection across multiple cloud regions, Rockset argues those approaches do not scale in terms of low-latency analytical queries. (Others differ, including investors who contributed $86.6 million to Cockroach Lab’s latest funding round announced in May, raising its venture funding total to more than $195 million, according to the web site Crunchbase.com.)

If nothing else, recent heavy investments in a range of secure, real-time database approaches illustrates the growing maturity of the data infrastructure sector. Those tools are being leveraged by enterprises to accelerate and scale data applications ranging from real-time supply chain logistics and delivery tracking systems to fraud detection systems.

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