Enterprise data search startup ThoughtSpot has flung off stealth mode and announced an oversubscribed Series A funding. The company raised $10.7 million from round leader Lightspeed Venture Partners and various angel investors, and also unveiled its early access program.
The Redwood City-based company has been developing under the radar since its founding in 2012. ThoughtSpot co-founder and CEO Ajeet Singh previously co-founded Nutanix, another company delivering disruptive solutions to its industry, data center infrastructure. Half of the ThoughtSpot engineering team comes from Google. Among Singh’s co-founders are those that had worked on technology like Google’s Search Index, Project Borg, and Ad Database, as well as BI-in-the-cloud at Oracle and Microsoft’s SQL Server. Many ThoughSpot employees left behind comfortable jobs to build an entirely new technology: a data search appliance intended to make looking for and analyzing enterprise data as simple as Google search.
Many companies currently count on business intelligence (BI) solutions from the late eighties and nineties. Creating business reports on industry trends or enterprise data involves the IT department and can take two weeks, even though aggregating the information the reports address should take seconds. ThoughtSpot says it wants to be the “last mile for business data” and leverages a Relational Search Engine and In-memory Database. Its Data Search Appliance performs search and computations. The company “presents a search interface to users, but does number crunching behind the scenes to give them the business insights they want,” Singh writes in an email. The platform provides search parameters that guide users and help them find data, which can then be manipulated into different types of graphs for visual analysis. Instead of trawling through numbers, enterprise workers can interpret bar graphs at a glance.
The tools ThoughtSpot will provide enterprises seem to work within a greater mission in tech and beyond, to provide solutions meant to interact with humans rather than machines. According to Singh, as a user develops a search query, ThoughtSpot’s Data Search Engine predicts what they might be interested in finding. Its helping hand reminds of companies like Google and Apple, that seem to excel at imagining customers in the context of their lives when developing products like Glass and the iPhone. Singh says ThoughtSpot aims to provide an Apple kind of experience to customers from the get-go — that is to say, one that emphasizes intuitive adoption and usability.
In the future, ThoughtSpot may ram heads with entrenched titans like SAP and IBM, which have talked search-based access in the past but haven’t made significant or scalable progress. The startup targets mid-sized companies and looks to tap and expand an enormous market opportunity, already gauged at $12 billion to $13 billion and growing at approximately 12 percent, according to Singh. “If you think about how much information the world consumed in [the] mid-’90s to the post-Google era, it has increased by a factor of like, one million,” Singh says. Growth like that could pave a long runway. ThoughtSpot looks to make its product generally available this summer.