Drawn to Scale raises nearly $1M to handle big data

Bambi Francisco Roizen · March 8, 2012 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/24fa
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RTP Ventures, SK Ventures, IA Ventures back big data start-up

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In the old days (oh even just five years ago), digital data wasn't such a problem. But with everyone snapping photos with their phones and updating their Twitter followers with words of inspiration, or just what sandwich they just ate, the data problem is getting out of control. 

OK. We know that already. But the problem has yet to be resolved. And, therein lies the opportunity. 

San Francisco-based Drawn to Scale, founded in February 2010, announced Thursday that it received $925,000 in seed funding from RTP Ventures, a Russian-backed fund based in Manhattan, SK Ventures, and Manhattan-based IA Ventures. The new fund was an equity round, though the valuation was not disclosed.

Drawn to Scale has built a database software product called Spire, which can handle full text searches and unstructured data. You can think of it as the next-generation MySQL or Oracle, said Bradford Stephens, founder and CEO, in an interview with me.  Stephens, whose background is in data analytics start-ups said he founded Drawn to Scale because the database problems he kept facing at his prior start-ups.

Most database software isn't built to be distributed, said Stephens. "They're [older database software systems] designed to work on one server at a time rather than coordating data among hundreds of servers." 

At the moment, Drawn to Scale is stil in beta with four large customers, and it's handling hundreds of terabytes of data. One customer is a large social media analytics company. It uses the database software to take in the entire Twitter firehose feed so the feeds can be read and analyzed for its customers, such as Whirlpool. Since the entire firehose is massive, Drawn to Scale can handle the data for a lot less than current database solutions. Stephens, however, wouldn't disclose the pricing, only to say that he charges customer on a monthly subscription and per server. 

Another competitor in this space is Couchbase, said Stephens. How is Drawn to Scale different? "The main advantage is that is we support SQL," said Stephens. "The other advantage is that everything we do is built to be distributed. That means, if the amount of data grows, it’s easy to add more servers to handle it."

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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Author of "Unequally Yoked"; Co-founder Vator and Invent Health; Former Columnist/correspondent Dow Jones MarketWatch; Business anchor CBS affiliate KPIX

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