Business Intelligence Startup Looker Raises $16M
Looker's proprietary data modeling language helps organizations address shortcomings of SQL and make analytics more accessible to "ordinary" users.
Looker, a business intelligence startup based in Santa Cruz, Calif., has raised $16 million in a series A round of venture funding, led by Redpoint Ventures. First Round Capital, which invested in the company's $2 million seed round, also participated, bringing the company's total funding to $18 million.
Looker's approach features Web-based technologies, rather than typical client-server based business intelligence. A key part of its approach involves a proprietary data modeling language called LookML. Looker co-founder Lloyd Tabb, a principal engineer at Netscape and former CTO of LiveOps, created the object-oriented language, which the company says simplifies the process of scripting and recycling SQL queries. It virtually eliminates the need for engineers to write SQL queries, according to the company.
"No one has attacked the core of BI in the last ten years. We tore it down and rebuilt it from the ground up, wrote our own language, architected a Web-based infrastructure, and delivered a product that's incredibly powerful," says Frank Bien, CEO of Looker.
Founded in June of 2012, Looker operated under the radar for more than a year before officially launching in March with more than 20 paying customers. Since then it has more than doubled its customer base.
According to Looker, its customers spend an average of 250 or more hours a month using its software to explore their business data.
"The response to our product really shows that we've found a substantially underserved market that was ripe for innovation," says Bien, a former vice president of business development for Greenplum before joining Looker.
Looker's platform can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. According to the company, all admins and users have access to the same application, which enables users to easily obtain analytics from a transactional database and save, share and integrate the information with any person or application within the organization.
According to the company, LookML abstracts elements away from database specific dialects and offers different types of elements so an organization can still achieve the same goal regardless of the database.