Trifacta Inks $4.3M

Trifacta Inc., a maker of productivity platforms for data analysis, has raised $4.3 million in funding from Accel Partners‘ Big Data Fund. Other investors include X/Seed Capital, Data Collective LLC, and angel investors Dave Goldberg, Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman.

Trifacta Inc, a provider of productivity platforms for data analysis, announced that it has raised $4.3 million in funding from Accel Partners’ Big Data Fund, along with additional investment from X/Seed Capital, Data Collective LLC, and angel investors Dave Goldberg, Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman.

Trifacta was founded by leading computer scientists from Berkeley and Stanford, whose research focuses on radically improving human productivity in data analysis. Trifacta CEO and Berkeley Professor Joe Hellerstein described the challenge that his company is targeting. “There is a lot of talk about engines and algorithms for unlocking value in data. But real value comes from the people who drive the analysis. It’s simple economics: processing and storage costs follow Moore’s Law and decrease exponentially, while human capital costs continue to grow. Trifacta is focused on human efficiency—enabling people to easily manipulate data and drive computation toward useful analyses. It’s a challenge that requires a holistic approach, addressing people, data and computation.”

Trifacta’s Chief Experience Officer, Jeffrey Heer, is a Professor in Stanford’s Human-Computer Interaction research group and known for open source data visualization libraries such as Protovis and D3.js. He described the gaps in current analytic practice: “Analysts today can get their hands on lots of data, and they have a range of powerful tools for visualization, statistics and BI. But they often get stuck in the middle, trying to wrangle data into forms that suit their analysis tools.” He goes on to say, “While each year we teach hundreds of students how to do this, the talent gap is in the tens to hundreds of thousands. At Trifacta we are building a scalable solution to making data manipulation approachable and efficient.”

Sean Kandel, Trifacta’s CTO, is a former financial analyst who did his dissertation work at Stanford studying analyst behavior and designing tools to improve productivity. “The analysts I spoke with lamented that over half of their time was spent wrangling data rather than doing real analysis. And they noted that once their data was in shape, insight often followed very quickly.”

“We see a lot of tech companies proposing to make computers more efficient at managing data,” said Ping Li, a Partner at Accel who leads the Big Data fund. “But the key efficiency bottleneck today is with people, not computers. Trifacta is unique because of the team and their mission. The company has brought together a world class interdisciplinary team with expertise in database systems, data visualization and machine learning to focus on improving the productivity of today’s analysts and empowering more people to work with data.”

Trifacta’s technology addresses data productivity problems in a range of use cases in Business Intelligence and Data Science. “Every day we see customers analyzing messy data from many different data sources in Tableau,” noted Chris Stolte, Chief Development Officer at Tableau Software. “Trifacta is bringing to the market an exciting new approach for managing and manipulating data for analysis, which will make it even easier to load data into applications like Tableau, and spend more time answering their important questions.”

Trifacta’s technology is scale-independent, appropriate for data sizes ranging from small files to petabyte Big Data repositories like Apache Hadoop. Mike Olson is the CEO of Cloudera, a leading Hadoop distributor. “At Cloudera, our customers work with some of the biggest data sets on the planet. That data often requires not just great analytics, but also intuitive ways to explore and experiment with data in order to be useful. Trifacta’s team and the work they have done on interaction design, scalable systems and intelligent algorithms are wonderfully positioned to deliver the power and ease of use required to manipulate data into useful forms.”

In addition to announcing funding, Trifacta also unveiled the Trifaculty: a group of global leaders in computing, visualization and data science who will advise the company on technical and design matters. Member bios are available at

Careers at Trifacta
Based in San Francisco, Trifacta is actively recruiting staff for engineering, design and product positions. Given its technical focus, the company is seeking talent across a variety of areas related to data. “Trifacta is in the business of building data technologies that are beautiful, powerful, and useful,” Hellerstein explains. “Our philosophy is to address technical problems in an integrated fashion, across areas from visualization and interaction design to machine learning to distributed systems for data management. We’re assembling a broad team to see this through: people that want to lead, learn, innovate and deliver solutions that span this landscape.”

More Information
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About Trifacta
Trifacta Inc. is a San Francisco-based software company developing productivity platforms for data analysis. Founded by technology leaders from Berkeley and Stanford, Trifacta focuses on maximizing human productivity via the world’s most intuitive, powerful and useful solutions for managing and manipulating data. More information is available at Follow us on Twitter: @trifacta.

About Accel Partners
Founded in 1983, Accel Partners has a long history of partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class businesses. Accel today invests globally using dedicated teams and market-specific strategies for local geographies, with offices in Palo Alto, California, New York City, London and Bangalore, as well as in China via its partnership with IDG-Accel.

Accel has helped entrepreneurs build over 300 successful companies, many of which have defined their categories. Accel’s Big Data Fund aims to fund transformative early stage and growth companies throughout the Big Data ecosystem, from next generation storage and data management platforms to a wide range of revolutionary software applications and services including data analytics, business intelligence, collaboration, mobile, vertical applications and many more.