While Big Data is quickly turning into a big business, the community of developers is small. Keep in mind that there are still only a tiny number of companies that have truly utilized the power of the technology.
And this is certainly an advantage for putting together a startup. Just look at Todd Papaioannou, who was with Yahoo! and Jonathan Gray, the former Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) HBase guru. While at these companies, they had little choice but to create innovative tools to make Big Data a reality.
Now it’s starting to pay off. This week, their company, Continuuity, raised $10 million in a Series A round. The investors include Battery Ventures, Ignition Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Data Collective and Amplify Partners.
“For Big Data to succeed,” said Todd, “there will need to be app development.”
Until now, it’s mostly been a painful process. Creating an app on the Hadoop platform requires much low level infrastructure and development.
To deal with this, Continuuity has built out a suite of app creation tools that are delivered via the cloud. With the technology, it is much easier and faster to scale-out Big Data apps — both in and outside the firewall. The upshot is that businesses will quickly derive valuable insights, such as with a/b testing, targeting and real-time analytics.
While Todd and Jonathan are super excited about the opportunity, they also understand it will take time for the Big Data market to evolve. Let’s face it, businesses will need to get accustomed to new approaches.
Yet the market potential is huge. After all, the traditional BI (business intelligence) category — which is similar to Big Data — generates about $40 billion a year in revenues.
But as for Big Data, it could easily be much bigger — perhaps getting to $80 billion or more. “Data will be a competitive lifeblood of an organization,” said Todd.