Data Intelligence Software Developer Alation Raises $110M In New Funding Round – CRN

Data intelligence technology developer Alation has raised $110 million in a Series D round of funding that boosts the company’s market valuation to $1.2 billion.

The new funding round, led by Riverwood Capital, brings the Redwood City, Calif.-based company’s total financing to $217 million, including a $50 million Series C round in January 2019.

The funding round included participation from new investors Sanabil Investments and Snowflake Ventures and existing investors Costanoa Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital, Icon Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Sapphire Ventures and Union Grove Partners.

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Businesses and organizations today are wrestling with exploding volumes of data and struggling to identify the data they have and manage it – let alone effectively leverage it for competitive advantage.

Alation develops data catalog software and tools for data governance and data search and discovery – all under the “data intelligence” description – that businesses and organizations use to identify and manage their data assets for business intelligence, AI and machine learning tasks and for meeting data regulatory and governance requirements.

An initial public offering [IPO] for Alation is probably still two to three years off, co-founder and CEO Satyen Sangani said in an interview with CRN.

“We just think we have such a massive market opportunity in building out the data intelligence category and realizing its full vision and capability,” Sangani said. “There are so many different elements of data – the complexities with data and making it really, really simple is something we could spend the next 20 years on and still have work to do.”

“I think the market is in its infancy. What we’ve got today is a drop in the bucket relative to the market opportunity we see in front of us,” the CEO added.

Data governance and compliance have historically been the biggest use-cases for Alation’s software. But Sangani said demand is also being driven by the need for trusted data for AI and machine learning tasks, for data cloud migration, and for the growing use of data for “self-service, data-intensive applications.

“There’s just tons of data moving from on-premises systems to the cloud, workloads and applications moving from on-premises systems to the cloud, and we see that literally every single day,” Sangani said. Alation’s strategic alliances with data cloud service provider Snowflake and cloud application vendor Salesforce are catalysts for Alation sales for such tasks, the CEO added.

Alation is particularly focused on leveraging the new relationship with data cloud service provider Snowflake: The two companies plan “deep product integrations and joint go-to-market initiatives,” Alation said in the announcement of the new funding.

A relationship with Capgemini, an earlier investor in Alation, has led to the company’s software being used in a number of the system integrator’s data migration and digital transformation projects, Sangani said.

Alation will apply some of the new funding to accelerate research and development efforts for its products, including developing connections to additional data sources, and extending its software to the cloud: The company began offering the Alation Cloud Service in April.

Some of the new financial resources also will be used to continue Alation’s global expansion, including expanding into new vertical markets and establishing relationships with solution providers and ISV partners in EMEA and the Asia-Pacific region.

The company launched its official channel program, the Alation Partner Network, in July 2020 to recruit reseller, systems integrator and technology partners.