Sisense conjures up a US$50M Series D


Big plans for growth said to follow this latest round of funding for the analytics wizards

Business intelligence firm Sisense has closed a Series D funding round, pulling in an impressive US$50 million in new financing. New investor Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) led the round, joining previous participants from its Series C in 2014 where it raised US$30 million, including Battery Ventures, Opus Capital and Genesis Partners.

Active in 50 countries, Sisense has its headquarters in New York City while maintaining its R&D facilities in Israel. With 170 employees, the company was founded in 2004 by Adi Azaria, Guy Boyangu, Aviad Harell, Elad Israeli, and Eldad Farkash, who serves as CTO.

What the company have developed is a system that is capable of processing massive quantities of data, helping researchers sift through and discover important points of interests or draw conclusions based on trends emerging from the data.

In the age of Big Data, business intelligence and analytical capabilities like the ones provided by Sisense have been in sharp demand to handle everything from e-commerce management, regular brick and mortar inventories, transportation efficiency and catching thieves.

“Data is exploding and I have clients in all industries,” CEO Amir Orad tells Geektime. “My shoe maker, education companies and healthcare all have more data than governments had 20 years ago because the amount of data is growing very fast along with the number of sources. They are drowning in data.”

“I think in 10 years there will be two kinds of companies. Both kinds will have a lot of data, but one kind will be making data-driven decisions and staying competitive, while one will be not leveraging well enough or ignoring the data when it makes decisions and lose its competitive edge. Unless Steve Jobs is their CEO and knows what the next iPhone will be, then it’s all about leveraging the data and that’s why we’re growing so fast.”

Also Read: The rise of mobile web: It’s not about just apps anymore!

Having started working with SMBs, Sisense has garnered recognition for its services and attracted big name clients such as Target, Wix, eBay and ESPN.

Standing out from the crowd

The company has also tried to define itself by rejecting the notion that its users need to buy expensive server services to perform their data analysis. It has developed a set of trademarked technologies that it calls In-Chip and Single Stack.

With the In-Chip tech, it claims that it has eliminated the need for data warehouses, and has sped up the processes. “We found a way to run the analytics inside the CPU and the CPU’s cache, and going back and forth between the memory and CPU,” explains Orad, “The reason that it is so powerful is that we found a way to push all of the actions in one shot and push it into the cache and CPU. This is physically 100 times faster than the traditional in-memory analytics.”

According to past interviews with Geektime, Orad has cited analysis companies like Tableau, which he has called a great company, as competitors. “It does Excel on steroids,” he says, adding that, “If you have a small amount of data, you put Tableau on top and it is a very easy way to consume it. When you have a large amount of data, it tells you to go and buy millions of dollars of servers and you can use our tool on top of that.”

He also cites database companies as in the race for this market for Big Data and analytics that BVP Partner Bob Goodman has valued at US$33 billion, but says that, “The issue is they don’t make the data consumable. It’s not interactive for humans. We sit in the perfect middle between these two options.”

Looking to the future

With the new funding in hand, Orad intends to keep improving its product and grow global reach. As a part of this effort, the company intends to use the budget to integrate 130 new members into the team and look for talent in new locations in the UK and US.

“We need more access to talent,” explains Orad, “We are based in NYC and Tel Aviv, and at the end the talent pools are limited. There are really amazing people in both offices, but we’re looking to add more sites.”

While he says that they they are showing very impressive rates of growth, he wants to expand their capacity. “We are accelerating the growth of the go-to market team. We are in the sales 2.0 era,” he says, going on to explain that, “This isn’t the era of just going out to dinner with a client. We have a combination of three functions working hand in hand, which are a very strong online lead generation program which allows businesses small and huge to download the programme and try it out before even speaking with us. Clients don’t want to see powerpoints but to try it out for themselves.”