Young startup Atlan, which has built a SaaS data collaboration platform and is courting customers in international markets, has now won the trust of some high-profile investors.
Atlan said on Tuesday it has raised $16 million in its Series A financing round that was led by Insight Partners. Bob Muglia (former CEO of Snowflake), Bob Moore and Jake Stein (founders of Stitch), Auren Hoffman (founder of Safegraph and Liveramp) and Akshay Kothari (co-founder and COO of Notion) also invested in the round, as did existing investors Sequoia Surge and Waterbridge Ventures.
The startup -- which was founded in India and now has teams across the U.S., Singapore, Philippines and Nigeria -- operates an eponymous data stack that brings together diverse data from internal and external sources such as Snowflake and Databricks to one interface and allows teams to collaborate easily.
The thesis behind Atlan is that the way most people in enterprises deal with data is inefficient. This is because of the fundamental diversity of people involved -- scientists, analysts, engineers, business users -- who all have their own skill sets and tool preferences.
This makes collaboration between the teams a challenge as they struggle to find the right data at the right time, for instance.
It’s a challenge that the founders of Atlan -- Prukalpa Sankar and Varun Banka (pictured above) -- faced firsthand at their first venture, SocialCops. The venture was behind several data science for social good projects, including India's National Data Platform and SDG global monitoring in collaboration with the United Nations.
Atlan started out as an internal tool to help the data team at SocialCops carry out projects more efficiently, before being opened up to teams around the world.
“We are reimagining the human experience with data -- why can’t data assets be shared as easily as sharing a link on Google Docs, or if Google Analytics can tell you usage on a website, why can’t we do the same for our data?” said Sankar.
Teddie Wardi, managing director at Insight Partners, likened Atlan’s relevance to companies just as Figma is crucial to design teams and GitHub is important to engineering teams.
Dashboard of Atlan / Image Credits: Atlan
In an interview with TechCrunch, Sankar said more than 60% of Atlan's clients today are in the U.S., and the market will be a big focus as the startup scales. She declined to reveal the number of clients the startup has amassed, but said the startup has grown 16X in the last two quarters.
Some of its clients include giants such as Unilever, Scripps Health, Postman and Techstyle, one of the world’s largest membership-based fashion firms with a diverse portfolio of brands including Fabletics, Savage X Fenty, JustFab, FabKids and ShoeDazzle.
“As we rolled-out our modern data platform, we were looking for a product that made it easier to democratize our data and was less dependent on someone central answering each individual analyst’s questions on a one-off basis. Legacy solutions in the market were tailored to legacy systems and approaches where IT or a single data stewardship team owns the data," said Danielle Boeglin Ragan, vice president of Data & Analytics at Techstyle, in a statement.
"Atlan was the only solution that was built for a collaborative, bottom-up approach. With native integrations with our modern analytics stack like Snowflake and Tableau, Atlan was very easy to set up -- we had all of our data sources flowing within the first day.”
The startup plans to deploy the fresh capital to expand its team of 40 people across marketing, sales and customer success, said Banka.
“Atlan has become a valuable resource for the data team to get context about data. In the long run, for our data democratization vision, we see the entire organization working towards analyzing the data and taking actions in a coherent, seamless fashion. Having Atlan in the mix of our toolchains opens the possibility of providing data context at scale, thereby enabling the entire org to be data aware and data driven,” said Prudhvi Vasa, analytics leader at Postman, in a statement.