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Yahoo spinoff Hortonworks raises $100M to scale big data tech

Posting in Technology

Hadoop—the open source Big Data technology that can store, process and analyze large sets of data across clusters of computers—is attracting big money these days.

For the second time this month, a Hadoop company has closed a nine-figure financing funding round in a run up to an initial public offering. 

The latest is Hortonworks, a company that spun off from Yahoo in 2011. The company announced Tuesday it has raised $100 million in a funding round led by BlackRock and Passport Capital. To date, Hortonworks has raised $225 million, bringing it close to competitor Cloudera's total raise. Last week, Cloudera announced its raised $160 million, bringing its total to $300 million. 

Big Data has been a darling among venture capitalists for some time now. In 2013, big data startups received $3.6 billion from investors—nearly 75 percent of what the sector raised over the previous five-year period, according to BigData-Startups. Just as that figure was released (and just two weeks before the close of 2013) at least one more deal—Talend's $40 million raise—was announced.

The pace hasn't slowed in 2014 and Hadoop appears to be one of the more popular spots for investors to plant their money. Here's why. 

The Hadoop framework, which is hosted by the non-profit Apache Foundation, is considered one of the most effective tools for taking mountains of Big Data and converting them into compact files that existing applications can digest. Hadoop, named after the creator's son's toy elephant, is being used by the telecommunications, manufacturing, retail and healthcare industries—to name a few.

UC Irvine Health, one of Hortonworks' customers, is using Hadoop to improve clinical operations in the hospital and scientific research at its medical school, according to the company.  King, the company behind the popular Candy Crush Saga game, is a Cloudera customer and uses Hadoop to examine game usage patterns as well as plug in multiple data feeds such as daily currency exchange rates from the European Central Bank, multiple metadata feeds and game, advertising and platform servers' log files on an hourly basis. 


— By on March 25, 2014, 10:21 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure