Platfora, Inc. is a big data analytics company based in San Mateo, California. The firm’s software works in tandem with the open-source software framework Apache Hadoop to assist companies and government organisations with rapid data analysis, data visualization, and sharing.

History

Platfora was founded in 2011 by Ben Werther. Werther studied Computer Science at Stanford University. Prior to founding Platfora, he worked at There Inc., Siebel Systems, Microsoft, and Greenplum. In 2011, Werther met regularly with former coworkers John Eshleman and SriSatish Ambati in a café in downtown San Mateo, California. At one of these meetings, while discussing the technical process of big data analysis, Werther realised that he could develop software that paired with Hadoop to greatly speed up data analysis and visualization. Werther sought financing to start Platfora; Eshleman was initially an adviser, and later joined Platfora as founding vice president of technology. Ambati formed his own company, Oxdata (now H2O.ai). In 2012, Platfora acquired startup Plot.io for its browser-based data visualisation technology.

Platfora received funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures, Tenaya Capital, Citi Ventures, Cisco, Allegis Capital and In-Q-Tel, the venture fund of the Central Intelligence Agency. Series C funding was $38 million. As of April 2014, total funding stood at $65 million.

Jul 21 of 2016 it was announced that Platfora is being acquired by Workday. Workday expects the transaction to close in the third fiscal quarter of 2016.

Platfora is one of several new big data analytics companies that industry analysts expect to compete with established firms including SAP, IBM, SAS, and Oracle, whose older methods of data analysis and visualisation are currently more time consuming.

On August 6th, 2015, Platfora announced the appointment of Jason Zintak taking the role of CEO and Ben Werther taking the role of Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.

On December 8th, 2015, Platfora announced it’s $30m funding round led by HSBC and Harmony Partners, alongside existing backers including Alleges Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Citi Ventures, Cisco, Sutter Hill Ventures and Tenaya Capital.

Product

Platfora’s software works with the open-source software framework Apache Hadoop; when a user queries a database, the product delivers answers in real time via a graphical user interface. Bloomberg Businessweek called it “Big Data for Dummies.” A corporate or government data analyst can use the interface to philtre results, or drag and drop fields to create graphs, overlays, and additional visualisations of the data. The analyst can then share those data visualisations and answers with others.

Customers

FedEx, JP Morgan Chase, PayPal, Bank of New York, Cox Automotive, Opower, Disney, Riot Games, Edmunds.com, Sears, Vivint, The Washington Post, Opower, Citi, Unisys, Groupon, AutoTrader, TUI Travel, UnitedHealth among a large number of others.

Awards and recognition

CRN Magazine named Platfora’s software one of “The 10 Coolest Big Data Products of 2013.” Platfora’s software was additionally voted a winner at the Big Data Festival in Kansas City, where it was used to analyse the city’s crime data. IT Analyst firm Gartner named Platfora as one of their "Cool Vendors" in their 2015 Big Data Discovery Report.

 CIO Magazine ranked Platfora number 1 on the "10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch" list.