Amazon invests big in big data startup

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Amazon.com is making what appears to be a big investment in analytic database startup ParAccel. ParAccel today announced the close of a Series E round led by Amazon, along with existing investorsĀ Menlo Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Bay Partners, Walden International, Tao Venture Capital Partners and Silicon Valley Bank, but did not disclose the amount.

However, ParAccel CEO Chuck Berger told me that ParAccel has now raised $73 million since 2005. The company hasn’t disclosed total funding for its last two rounds, but it had raised upward of $50 million as of its Series C round in 2009. That $22 million round followed a $20 million Series B round in 2007.

ParAccel makes a columnar (as opposed to the traditional row-based model for relational databases) database designed for fast analysis of large amounts of information. It’s similar in nature to those from Vertica, Greenplum, Netezza and Aster Data, all of which were recently acquired to fill big data holes within HP, EMC, IBM and s, respectively. We profiled ParAccel in March after the acquisition frenzy died down.

Berger wouldn’t comment further on the relationship between ParAccel and new investor Amazon, except to say that Amazon sees significant value in what ParAccel does. What that means is anybody’s guess, but between its retail business and its Amazon Web Services cloud computing business, there are plenty of opportunities for Amazon to run and find value in an advanced analytic technology like ParAccel.

Berger said his company has been growing like mad, especially in terms of revenue. In March, he cited between 30 and 40 customers, and this week, he told me ParAccel expects to have almost $20 million in revenue this year compared with between $4 million and $5 million last year.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Nazir Amin.

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