GoodData, which is trying to upend the multibillion-dollar business intelligence market, just raised a $15 million Series B round led by Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz.
A partner from the firm, John O’Farrell, has also joined GoodData’s board, along with Dave Girouard, who heads up Google’s enterprise business.
Business intelligence products help companies make sense of their data. The market is dominated today by Business Objects, Cognos (both billion-dollar companies) and Hyperion (a half-billion-dollar company), and enterprise powerhouses like Oracle and Microsoft also play in the space.
GoodData is going up against these giants with its cloud-based BI platform, which is much cheaper and faster to deploy — GoodData CEO Roman Stanek says “our deals take usually four to six weeks to close, and another four to six weeks to implement.” A typical BI solution can take up to a year.
A large part of that quick ‘time-to-value” comes from GoodData’s apps, which plug right into other services and let customers analyse data from them — like customer data stored in Salesforce, user data amassed from Facebook users, or call data from Twilio.
But to sell the product effectively, GoodData needs a direct sales force capable of going up against the giants in IT departments. That’s a lot more complicated and expensive than the customer-acquisition process for consumer startups, which can rely on viral marketing and word-of mouth — and that’s what a lot of the new round is going to fund.
As O’Farrell puts it, selling to enterprises “definitely separates the men from the boys.”
“Enterprise customers are demanding and conservative — and they should be. They’re being asked to implement a product that will interface with their other apps in real time, and form the basis for critical business decisions.”
But O’Farrell has a lot of confidence in the product and the team, and GoodData has already amassed 100 direct customers (it also has more than 2,500 customers through partners) and is showing the kind of hockey-stick growth that investors like — in July, more than 2 million business intelligence reports were executed on GoodData’s platform which is five times as many as were done in January.
Most important, Andreessen Horowitz likes billion-dollar business areas that it feels are ripe for disruption, and BI is one of the last areas where cloud computing and software as a service has yet to take off.
As O’Farrell puts it, “we’re focused on the best companies that we believe can break out and earn $1 billion in annual revenue, and have a big impact on the world.”
See Also: Our Q&A With John O’Farrell