Israeli big data processing startup Upsolver Ltd. announced on Tuesday it has completed a $13 million series A financing round. The round was led by Vertex Ventures U.S. in partnership with Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), which led its previous funding round, and U.S.-based Wing Venture Capital. Other private investors in the round include Jeff Rothschild, founder of Veritas Software and Facebook’s founding engineer and Sohaib Abbasi, the former chairman and chief executive of Informatica
Upsolver has raised a total of $17 million to date, with a global team of 22 employees working across Israel, California, and New York. Its customers include Israeli companies such as IronSource, Sisense and Similar Web, as well as US-based companies Asurion, Cox Automotive and more. Existing investors include Adler Chomski, Level VC, Taya Ventures and Kobi Marenko, founder and CEO of Arbe Robotics.
Upsolver founders Ori Rafael and Yoni Eini first met while serving in the military’s 8200 intelligence unit, often described as Israel’s NSA, where Rafael was head of data integration platforms, and Eini was CTO of a large data science group. They came up with the idea for Upsolver while struggling with a data lake they built for advertising optimization. Being their own users from the start contributed to their understanding of the customers’ needs and the product’s success, with Upsolver doubling its user base in the past six months.
In an interview with Calcalist, Upsolver co-founder and CEO Ori Rafael explained that the big data sector is separate from the database sector. “We try to simplify big data for people who understand databases. The latter is a field that has far more experts working in it. I grew up in that sector and the company was established on the need to simplify and link the two,” Rafael said.
“Organizations use data lakes to analyze large volumes of structured and unstructured data by breaking the traditional database into pieces. Separating them reduces both cost and dependency on one database vendor,” Rafael added.
Upsolver intends to use the funds in order to accelerate its expansion in North America, expand its R&D and customer service teams, and enhance its multi-cloud capabilities. “A year from now, we want to employ 50 people. The Covid-19 crisis was good for us, we had excellent quarters and concluded the financing round via Zoom calls,” Rafael said. “But we have to be cautious and will hold off a substantial part of our growth until 2021.”
Upsolver’s status as an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN) Advanced Technology Partner also fueled its momentum. “The partnership with AWS expedited our work and sales substantially,” said Rafael. “We are deployed and bought via the AWS marketplace so many companies don’t require a specialized budget and can simply pay for use of the software.”
The investment marks an increase in demand for Upsolver’s product. During the past year, the company has tripled its annual revenue rate and has seen a significant increase in customer use, especially during the Covid-19 period.
On the heels of the raise, In Sik Rhee, General Partner and co-founder at Vertex Ventures US, who founded Opsware (acquired by HP for $1.6 billion) and made early-stage investments in both Cloudera and Couchbase, will join Upsolver’s board of directors. Gadi Porat, a partner at Jerusalem Venture Partners will also join Upsolver’s board.
“We see Upsolver creating a cloud-native standard for data lake computing,” said Rhee. “Upsolver succeeded in abstracting away the engineering complexity of data pipeline management so that enterprise customers can quickly solve their modern data challenges in real-time and at any scale, without having to build another silo of expertise within the organization.”
“We believe in Upsolver’s unique solution and the company’s ability to be a leader in the emerging data lake market. We anticipate that the vast majority of enterprise data will be stored in data lakes and that Upsolver will be the platform to make this data easily available in real time. Using familiar data interfaces allows organizations to extend the use of data lakes to their existing data management teams,” Porat added.