Snowplough, a platform designed to create data for AI and business intelligence applications, today announced it has raised $40 million in a Series B funding round led by NEA, Snowplow investors, Atlantic Bridge and MMC. Co-founder and CEO Alex Dean said the new money will enable Snowplow to grow its team, establish a second headquarters in Boston and expand its platform to support new types of data creation.
Snowplow has its roots in the consulting work of Dean’s and Yali Sassoon (Co-founder of Snowplow), which has often involved helping companies use behavioral data from mobile apps and websites to inform their business strategies. “Behavioural Data” refers to data that records how people, typically customers, interact with products and services.
Dean was an analyst at Deloitte and a consultant at Fathom Partners, while Sassoon was an associate at PwC. According to Dean, their customers kept running into limitations — mainly that that data was “stuck” in tools like Google Analytics.
“Data teams spent most of their time extracting data from various software-as-a-service platforms, leaving little time to innovate,” Dean told gotechbusiness.com in an email interview. †[We] launched Snowplow to help any company create granular behavioral data for themselves, in their own cloud, liberating data analysts and scientists from the constraints imposed by analytics providers.”
Snowplow creates AI and machine learning data “at the source” – that is, a customer’s preferred data store (such as an Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform instance). The idea is to automate the creation and management of a “data language” in a company, with a common schema that can be modeled for business intelligence and AI, streamed for real-time apps, and enriched with third-party data and systems.
Dean argues that creating new behavioral data rather than reusing existing data can lead to higher quality data sets for AI and analytics. For example, a customer, Software.com, uses Snowplow to track event data from multiple sources on its platform and deliver it in a single consolidated format.
“There are no companies that do exactly what we do,” Dean claimed. “Other companies create behavioral data, but mostly to power their own applications – examples include digital analytics solutions (e.g. Google Analytics) and customer data platforms (e.g. Segment, mParticle). Unlike these solutions, Snowplow…however, processes data in the customer clouds.”
Snowplow, which has raised a total of $55 million, claims that more than 10,000 companies, including Flickr and Strava, are using its platform as of today. (That figure includes organizations using Snowplow’s open source platform, as well as its fully managed product.) Snowplow’s annual recurring revenue is $12 million, and the startup plans to increase its workforce by the end of the year. from 140 to 200.
“The C-suite must always be vigilant about the security, privacy and management of their data. Snowplow gives full control over their data pipelines within their own cloud infrastructure,” said Dean. “We have experienced strong growth during the pandemic as many companies doubled in investments in digital and data… [and] we believe we are well positioned for a broader economic slowdown. [We’re] well capitalized with a product that delivers a vastly improved return on investment in AI. The digital transformation is not slowing down and AI is playing an increasing role in it.”