Concurrent lands $10M to catalyze the Big Data app economy

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Maria Deutscher, SiliconANGLE
June 3, 2014

Concurrent, a San Francisco-based startup working to simplify the development of applications atop Hadoop, announced on Monday that it has raised $10 million in Series B financing led by new investor Bain Capital Ventures. Existing backers Rembrandt Ventures and True Ventures also participated in the round, which brings the firm’s total funding to nearly $15 million.

Concurrent said that it will use the capital to accelerate the development of its flagship Cascading framework, an open source library hatched up by founder Chris Wensel to make it easier for organizations to operationalize their vast troves of unstructured information. It acts an abstraction layer between Hadoop and the applications that use it and lets CIOs avoid investing in additional training or specialized talent.

“The requirement for the enterprise is not to learn new skills for Hadoop but to leverage existing skills, existing systems and existing investments they already made in their infrastructure,” Concurrent CEO Gary Nakamura, who took over the reins in conjunction with the firm’s previous $4 million funding round last March, told SiliconANGLE in an interview.

Because of that, Cascading is written in Java, the same language Hadoop and the majority of modern corporate applications are implemented in. It also provides support for popular enterprise technologies like SQL and Scala, which is especially useful for implementing data analysis algorithms in distributed environments like the batch processing platform. All that serves to shield developers from the inherent complexity of working with unstructured data and bring enterprises a step closer to crossing the chasm into the long overdue era of pre-packaged analytical apps.

The third and latest version of the framework, which rolled out last month, extends that functionality to Tez, a distributed execution engine that offers superior performance to MapReduce with lower latency. Cascading has promised to deliver support for other components in Hadoop ecosystem as well through a new query planner built into the release.

The framework is gaining traction in the marketplace. Concurrent boasts of more than 150,000 monthly downloads and already counts thousands of organizations among its users, including high-profile Internet companies like eBay, Twitter and Etsy. That success has not gone unnoticed by the vendor community: All three of the largest Hadoop distributors support Cascading, with the latest to jump on the bandwagon being Hortonworks, which in April committed to guarantee the compatibility of applications based on the framework with future releases of its platform.

Concurrent is trying to monetize the momentum behind Cascading with Driven, a recently introduced cloud service that provides visibility into data flows and program logic at runtime to simplify troubleshooting and help developers be more productive overall. The company disclosed that a part of the capital from today’s round will go towards fueling future development of the solution. It also revealed that Salil Deshpande, a managing director at Bain Capital’s Palo Alto office, is joining its board.

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