Austin’s data.world closes on $26 Million in funding as demand for its data platform soars

data.world conference meeting, photo courtesy of data.world

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of companies are taking stock of the data they have on hand and sorting it out to their economic advantage.

It’s kind of like how homeowners are doing renovation projects and people are cleaning out closets and organizing their stuff.

So too are companies.

And that, in part, has spurred increased demand for Austin-based data.world’s software. The company, a Certified B-Corp, provides enterprise data cataloging and data mining tools.

“People are trying to navigate through the most trying time they’ve had since the great depression,” said Brett Hurt, the company’s CEO and Co-founder. The ability to access data quickly for insights and decision making can lead to a competitive advantage, he said.

“We turn our customers into data heroes,” Hurt said. data.world can transform a company into a data-driven culture by providing it a catalog of its data assets kind of like a library card catalog system.

data.world on Tuesday announced it has closed a $26 million round of financing led by the Tech Pioneers Fund. That brings data.world’s funding to date to $71.3 million since its launch in 2016.

data.world initially sought to raise $10 million, but its round was 260 percent oversubscribed, Hurt said. And three of its investors are customers of data.world including the Associated Press, Prologis, and Workday. Hurt raised 70 percent of the funding from his house on online conference calls during the pandemic lockdown.

One of Austin’s newest VC firms, Breyer Capital, led by Jim Breyer, a prominent Silicon Valley investor, wrote one of the last checks into the round, Hurt said. Prologis Ventures also participated along with Alumni Ventures Group. Existing investors Shasta Ventures, OurCrowd, and Workday Ventures also participated along with angel investors Arthur Patterson, Lincoln Brown, and Cotter Cunningham.

With the funds raised, data.world plans to invest in product development and hire additional employees for sales, marketing, customer service, and engineering roles, Hurt said. The company has 75 employees currently with 10 open positions right now, he said. It has added several employees since the COVID-19 pandemic began that Hurt has only met virtually.

data.world has built a collaborative data resource that is used by researchers, journalists, universities, companies, and others. In addition, data.world sells a cloud-native enterprise data catalog that allows companies to more effectively harness their data as a competitive advantage, Hurt said.  Its customers include the Associated Press, Prologis, WPP, and Wunderman Thompson Data.

“We rely on data.world to help our analysts and business leaders make data-driven decisions about real estate investments and global supply chain opportunities,” Luke Slotwinski, vice president of data and analytics at Prologis said in a news release. “data.world’s intuitive interface and powerful technology, including their knowledge graph, makes data discovery and exploration more accessible and immediately actionable to our business. Having deployed data.world’s solution, we have seen firsthand its impact as a data multiplier and are pleased to invest in its latest funding round via Prologis Ventures. We are thrilled to be a data.world customer and business partner.”

Data.world also has several strategic partnerships and product integrations with AWS, Snowflake, Semantic Web Company, MANTA, and others. It has more than 60 integrations, Hurt said. data.world’s knowledge graph software now has 16 patents and the company continues to improve its software as a service product with more than 1,000 new releases in the last year.

Also, data.world launched the Coronavirus Data Resource Hub, a free and open data catalog for COVID-19 research.