GoodData Raises $25 Million to Fix Business Intelligence

By Michael Carney , written on July 25, 2012

From The News Desk

“Business intelligence has been the Yugo of business investments,” says Roman Stanek. “It always broken and ends up as little more than a money pit.”

Stanek’s cloud-based business intelligence platform GoodData was created to reverse this perception by offering a data analytics solution that not only structures data, but also gives best practices and actionable insights.  Today, the five year old company is announcing $25 million in new financing.

The oversubscribed Series C round was led by Tenaya Capital, with participation from new investor Next World Capital, and existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst Partners, Fidelity Growth Partners and Windcrest Partners. Tenaya Capital managing director Brian Paul has joined the board of directors as part of this transaction.

“Tenaya has a portfolio full of enterprise success stories,” says Stanek. “They will also provide tremendous resources as we pursue further international expansion.” According to the CEO, 95 percent GoodData’s business is in the US today.

With the increasing availability of APIs within popular SaaS software, more and more business data is available from which companies can look to draw meaningful conclusions about the state of a business. Companies can connect GoodData’s platform to existing cloud-based products like Salesforce, Zendesk, Google Analytics, Twilio, and Pardot. Through these integrations, users can access data warehousing, advanced reporting, and operational dashboards.

Beyond just structuring data into graphs and other visualizations, GoodData also gives companies the best practices and actionable insights. This point of differentiation is what drives the most value and creates a barrier to entry for would-be competitors.

Stanek claims that GoodData’s solutions are five to ten times more cost-effective than similar products offered by IBM, SAP and Oracle -- an average customer will pay $50,000 to $100,000 per year for its service. More than 6,000 customers and 11,000 users have voted with their check books, choosing to use GoodData to monetize their data. While the company focuses primarily on “middle enterprise” customers, it has recently signed several large accounts including those with PwC, Time Warner Cable, Groupon, and Zendesk.

“We are very happy as both investor and user a user of GoodData,” says Andreessen Horowitz general partner and GoodData board member John O’Farrell.

The VC firm began using GoodData as its cloud intelligence platform shortly after investing in 2009, based largely on its ability to draw insights from Salesforce. “The value in GoodData is that it’s a cross-platform product, whose value is not just extracting and analyzing data from a single product (i.e. Salesforce) but in combining data from multiple products (i.e. Sales leads coming in from Marketo, sent over to to Salesforce, then sent over to some sort of financial package).”

GoodData satisfied each of AH’s key investment fundamentals at the time of its seed investment and continues to do so today, according to O’Farrell. First, the founding team is highly technical and has a proven track record of success, a must for AH.  Secondly, the firm views business intelligence is a giant market opportunity as proven by the previous acquisitions of two billion dollar revenue companies -- Cognos by IBM and Hyperion by Oracle.

According to O’Farrell, an exit by M&A isn’t even on the radar, as he sees GoodData growing into a billion dollar standalone company. "GoodData has the leadership, the product and the aggressive agenda to be a game-changer in the business intelligence space," he says. "We continue to be impressed by the company’s ability to over-deliver."

Stanek plans to use the new funding to continue developing technology, including offering innovation within specific verticals such as retail and subscription. Additionally, the CEO intends to spend heavily on sales and marketing programs to accelerate adoption of the cloud intelligence platform. GoodData has raised a total of $53.5 million to date.

The company reports 600 percent revenue growth in 2011, a period during which it also grew its employee count from 40 to 180. Both statistics make the company one of the fastest growing companies in its space.

Stanek states openly that he hopes to take the company public within two to three years. “I’m very bullish on the space,” he says.

[Image courtesy of GoodData]