Karmasphere Raises $5 Million

Karmasphere, a Los Gatos, Calif.-based developer of business analytics software that brings Apache Hadoop to the desktop, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and U.S. Venture Partners co-led the round.


Karmasphere™, a next generation software company bringing Apache Hadoop power to the desktop, today announced it has secured $5 million in Series A funding from leading venture capital firms Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and U.S. Venture Partners (USVP). Ann Winblad, managing director at Hummer Winblad, and David Liddle, general partner at USVP, will join Martin Hall, Karmasphere co-founder, president and CEO, on Karmasphere’s board of directors. The money raised will be used to further commercialize Karmasphere’s software for analyzing very large data sets or, what is commonly called, Big Data.

Apache Hadoop is an open source framework for running MapReduce applications on large clusters of hardware. It’s designed for data processing jobs that analyze or transform extremely large data sets. As Hadoop can be challenging for even the most sophisticated to get started with, Karmasphere provides client-side software that enables organizations to dramatically cut the time and effort needed to unlock valuable information encased in large data sets.

“Big Data technologies promise a new era of insight into voluminous data. Apache Hadoop and related technologies are incredibly powerful yet still-too-complicated. Starting with our Karmasphere Studio™ product for developers, our mission is to make these new approaches accessible and easy-to-use,” said Hall.

“These massive data sets are often multi-terabyte in size, and they are frequently spread over hundreds of machines, not just large clusters. The Business Intelligence opportunities of the future will arise from understanding these large and unstructured datasets, particularly those produced by web commerce and new media businesses,” said Liddle.

“Business intelligence and analytics continue to be a focus of our firm’s investments, from Hyperion to Omniture. Still today companies have valuable insights locked inside the massive amounts of unstructured data continuously being collected. Hadoop and MapReduce are a step toward solving the problem. Karmasphere provides the ‘last mile’; software tools for this new generation of business analytics that will drive companies to turn their massive data sets into real competitive advantage,” said Winblad.

Built on Hadoop, Leveraging the Power of the Cloud

Karmasphere’s initial product, Karmasphere Studio: Community Edition, first made available in September 2009, is now being used by developers around the world.

With Karmasphere Studio: Community Edition, developers can easily develop, deploy, debug and monitor Hadoop-based data processing applications. Karmasphere Studio features a simple, desktop graphical work environment, and works with Windows, Mac and Linux. The power of the cloud is harnessed through compatibility with all major Hadoop distributions for private cloud use, and close integration with the public cloud including Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic MapReduce and S3.

Founders Combine Technical Expertise with Practical Know-How

Karmasphere co-founders, Martin Hall and Ben “Shevek” Mankin, combine to bring proven technical expertise and practical company-building experience to Karmasphere.

Previously, Hall was a founder of Aventail, a leading security software and services company later acquired by SonicWall. Prior to that, he founded Stardust, an Internet technology services company sold to Penton Media. Hall has a track record for pioneering new Internet technologies and markets, including founding and leading several industry groups including WinSock, Quality of Service (QOS), Internet Multicast and Wireless Multimedia Forums.

Shevek, chief technology officer of Karmasphere, is a PhD level mathematician and an industry recognized expert in the Java programming language, with an emphasis in security system design. He has worked with organizations such as U.K. Department of Trade and Industry, Raytheon Systems, and Strachan and Henshaw in the defense and nuclear industries.

About Karmasphere

Karmasphere is a business analytics software company bringing Apache Hadoop power to the desktop. Karmasphere enables companies to unlock the competitive advantages within their large datasets by providing an easy-to-use class of client-side software. Karmasphere’s first product, Karmasphere Studio: Community Edition, is currently available for download at www.karmasphere.com.