September 4, 2018 | Investment Themes

The Next Step in the Data Stack

Greg Sands

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Greg Sands

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A summary view of the cluster giving the operator an ‘at-a-glance’ view of the cluster health, key performance indicators, and access to custom views.

I’m thrilled to announce our investment in Pepperdata, a company whose product embodies our thesis that great AI applications need great managed data.

We’re big believers in the idea that building and managing the data stack is critical to the success of efforts to build world-class AI applications. Many of the world’s biggest and best AI-driven companies already use Pepperdata to help their Hadoop and Spark clusters perform at the high levels they need to manage demanding applications for e-commerce, voice applications and consumer banking at massive scale. Performing at this level stands out because of what it enables in applied machine learning. They monitor and analyze 500 trillion data points on performance and not only point out the root cause of problems but also recommend a fix. It is hard to describe the complexity, urgency and hours wasted trying to track down the little problems and errors that can lead to huge problems with large scale data applications.

Performance management matters most when applications or business processes are critical. The success and trajectory of companies like Wiley Technology, Keynote and New Relic over the years demonstrate its value. The modern data stack is the enabler of data-driven and machine learning applications that touch every workflow and vertical application and is what results in delightful consumer experiences.

As always, we love talking to customers and prospects to understand their needs and learn how they’re getting value — as well as what else they want from a start-up. In this case, we heard not only strong support for Pepperdata’s existing product, but customers also revealed an ongoing set of needs that Pepperdata is incredibly well-positioned to satisfy, such as optimizing the performance of streaming data applications using the Kafka framework, which plays a critical role in real-time decision making.

At Costanoa, we continue to look actively at innovators who are enabling the future of data. We’ve been fortunate to incubate leading companies like Alation, which created the Enterprise Data Catalog, and partner with FaunaDB, which built the NoSQL database for massive scale. We believe that opportunities abound going forward as the need and importance of data engineers only grows.

I worked with CEO Ash Munshi at the dawn of the Internet age as well as Radiance Technologies, which he founded previously. He is a deeply technical and talented leader who is driven to build the leading Big Data Performance Management Platform. We are very excited to work with Ash (again) and the rest of the Pepperdata team!

The future of data is increasingly bright.