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2013: Year of the Big Data Startup?

Although 2012 was billed as the Year of Big Data, 2013 seems to be turning into the Year of the Big Data Startup. A flurry of new companies are popping up to help organizations manage, maintain, and leverage the mounds of data that are accumulating. The solutions they offer are varied, ranging from analytics and visualization tools and platforms based on open source Apache Hadoop to big data search engines and software for specific industries.

Hadoop platform developer Hortonworks’ recent infusion of $70 million in new funding is a sign of investors’ strong interest in the space. Other startups with recent funding wins include predictive analytics firm Gainsight ($9 million first round), analytics provider siSense ($10 million second round), solutions provider ThinkBig ($13 million), analytics tools provider DataGravity ($30 million), and Hadoop distributor MapR ($59 million over three rounds).

So many big data startups are emerging that it’s difficult to keep track. Luckily, there’s a platform that lists and rates them. Big Data Startups, a media sponsor of Rock Stars of Big Data, includes dozens of the newest companies creating big data products and services, as well as industry news.

Venture funds specifically for big data startups are also emerging. Accel Partners recently established a second $100 million fund for big data. Its second fund will support entrepreneurs who are using the technology platforms that were built in the first wave of big data startups, to create Data Driven Software (DDS) designed to help the workforce “make smarter decisions through deeper insights.” According to Accel, DDS—billed as “the last mile of big data”—will automatically harness data from a variety of sources, analyze it, and present valuable real-time insights to the business end user.

 And Data Collective, another fund dedicated to big data, currently is managing 46 creative teams. Said the founders of Data Collective when they launched last summer: “We believe that big data, like the PC revolution of the 80s, the emergence of the Internet in the 90s, and Web 2.0 in the 2000s, represents a several hundred billion dollar wealth creation opportunity. The companies that solve these problems, from infrastructure providers at the bottom to corporate customers at the top of the stack, will enjoy huge competitive advantage over the next 10 years.”

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