Our Investment in Datahero

by Ryan McIntyre

Today Datahero announced that Foundry Group has led the company’s seed round, and we are joined by a great set of co-investors including Neu Venture Capital, former Mark Logic CEO Dave Kellogg and analytics experts and LinkedIn alums Mike Greenfield and Jonathan Goldman.

Datahero was founded with the goal of bringing powerful data analytics and visualization to everyone, allowing anyone to understand the data that matter to them. The founders are Big Data veteran Chris Neumann and user experience expert Jeff Zabel. Chris was the first hire at Aster Data, a Big Data company from before the term was coined. Jeff Zabel spent many years at BMW’s Palo Alto offices and was a driving force behind the company’s iPhone/Android phone integration projects and the award-winning Google Maps send-to-my-car feature.

We were originally connected with the founders in late 2011 by Gnip CEO Jud Valeski, when they were heads-down building a prototype/alpha version of their product. Jeff and Chris huddled up and spent the next few months building an early version of the product, and when we reconnected in the spring of 2012, we were mightily impressed by what just two guys had built over a few short months.

We share Datahero’s belief that current data analysis business intelligence tools have far too steep a learning curve to be accessible to the average user and often require IT staff involvement and the help of a data scientist before any real insight can be unlocked. Given the explosion of data sources available online from the broad universe of SaaS apps, and the broad trend towards the consumerization of IT, we think Datahero’s vision will bring sophisticated data analysis capabilities to a much broader audience than today’s tools allow.

We welcome Datahero to the Foundry Group portfolio and look forward to working with Chris and Jeff to build a great company.

Update: more coverage on the funding at TechCrunch, GigaOm, PandoDaily and The Next Web.