Big data startup Metanautix comes out of stealth and takes in $7M

Metanautix, a startup founded by former Google(s goog) and Facebook(s fb) honchos, is coming out of stealth and has landed $7 million in its first round of funding to mark the occasion. Sequoia Capital drove the investment along with the Stanford University endowment fund and Shiva Shivakumar, a former VP of engineering at Google.

Like other startups inspired by the powerful computing techniques developed by Google and Facebook, Metanautix is attempting to make it easier for the general public to access and analyze data across different platforms, like bare-metal environments and multiple clouds, explained Metanautix co-founder and CEO Theo Vassilakis.

For many organizations that try to analyze customer data, it can be a difficult task to do accurate calculations when some data may be stored in legacy in-house applications or in different systems like Hadoop. With Metanautix, all those data silos can theoretically be linked and treated as one larger system through the use of SQL, which Vassilakis described as being the “lingua franca” that can convert all disparate forms of data into easy to understand tables.

“We are not a storage system,” said Vassilakis. “You just need to refer to whatever data you want to analyze and we will analyze it.”

Theo Vassilakis
Theo Vassilakis

The Metanautix software can be installed on-premise or run via the cloud, depending on the customers’ preference, said Vassilakis. With the software, company departments like the sales or marketing teams, will be able to access data that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to see. Because the software can essentially convert the data into an SQL table and allows users to use machine-learning algorithms to analyze the data, different business groups should now be able to take advantage of the data that might have previously only been available to the company’s top database administrators or engineers.

Vassilakis said that this feature is especially relevant for today’s fast-changing companies who might one day decide to launch new products hosted in different data sources than the ones they might currently use.

Metanautix currently has 25 employees and six customers, including Hewlett-Packard (S HPQ). The  software should be generally available by year end.

While at Google, Vassilakis was in charge of developing Dremel, the querying system that can analyze data regardless of where it is located and is the heart of Google’s BigQuery service, which is basically a next-generation version of MapReduce. Metanautix’s other co-founder, Apostolos Lerios was a Facebook senior software engineer who worked on the social network’s photo repository which handles more than 300 billion images.

Post and thumbnail images courtesy of Shutterstock user kentoh.