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A database for the internet of things, TempoDB raises $3.2M

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TempoDB, a Chicago-based startup specializing in the type of time-series data that comes off sensors and other machines, has raised a $3.2 million series A funding round led by Hyde Park Venture Partners with participation from Chicago Ventures, Divergent Ventures and the company’s existing angel investors. About 18 months since the company launched at TechStars Cloud and GigaOM’s Stacey Higginbotham profiled it, the company’s future is still fuzzy but is starting to shape up.

Andrew Cronk
Andrew Cronk

According to Co-founder and CEO Andrew Cronk, TempoDB’s sweet spot is probably the emerging internet of things and the related sensors and devices kicking out so much timestamped data. Companies in that space are often young, comfortable with cloud computing (TempoDB is a cloud database), and up on next-generation architectures in which application components are often consumed as services and developers aren’t afraid to use multiple databases for multiple needs.

“We’re just a natural fit for the way they run the rest of their business,” Cronk said. “… They have no legacy.”

But how the market for connected devices will shape up is still anybody’s guess (experts and innovators will take plenty of them at our Mobilize conference next week in San Francisco). Cronk thinks wearable technologies are just a stepping stone toward implantable technologies that can gather more valuable data. Even in the relatively established realm of the connected home, he noted, there are numerous protocols and entrance vectors (e.g., security systems, thermostats and smoke alarms) all producing pretty much the same data.

“It’s so new, it’s unclear how they’re going to make money,” Cronk said. “Hopefully, we can just capture all [the data].”

An explanation of how TempoDB stores data.
An explanation of how TempoDB stores data.

However, there are other companies generating streams of data from sensors — those in industries such as oil and gas, financial services and manufacturing — that are making plenty of money. And they’re beginning to track down TempoDB, too, Cronk said. That’s admittedly a tough business, what with competition from the likes of GE and IBM around their industrial internet pushes, but the new money should help bolster sales efforts in what has been a customer-instigated cycle up to this point.

Apart from the internet of things and the industrial internet, TempoDB is also trying to ride another wave: the emerging Chicago tech startup scene. Cronk said he’s proud that TempoDB is among a handful of “serious tech companies” that has sprung up in the city, and that the existence of Hyde Park Ventures and Chicago Ventures is both a product of this activity and a cause.

“The diaspora of Groupon (s grpn) wealth is spreading down through the city,” he said.

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