What to do if you are Japanese, don’t speak much English, but you have some good friends and a talent as big as the Big Data that your startup explains and makes sense of? If you’re Kazuki Ohta, you decide to move to Silicon Valley and build your startup there, and, if you’re as lucky as you are smart, you score a meeting the ‘Kite VC,’ aka Bill Tai, who commits to funding you during your first meeting. The kicker is that you don’t realize that he has committed because your English isn’t that good yet.
“The BEST fun ‘founder’ story is this one,” Bill Tai told SnapMunk. “Fifteen minutes into our first meeting, I decided I would write a personal check to fund Kaz Ohta and Hiro Yoshikawa, to start a ‘Big Data’ company – Treasure Data – with and around them. I spent the rest of the meeting brainstorming about what to build and who to pull in to enhance the chance of success. Years later, I learn that Kaz didn’t know that I had COMMITTED in the meeting, because he was not conversationally fluent in English back then and likely not expecting instant backing. Treasure Data, Inc. is now ingesting 4 trillion rows of data per month for hundreds of enterprise customers ’round the world…”
Treasure Data is a pioneer in Live Data Management for Big Data, which means making an organization’s data connected, current, and easily accessible to the folks and algorithms that drive business success. How? Through identifying, learning from, and responding to customer behavior, industry trends, and rapidly changing markets, with data from numerous sources that is always up-to-date and always accessible. Companies like Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Pioneer, Subaru, Mattel, Wish.com, and Fitbit are among Treasure Data’s clients that generate more than two million events every second and make nearly seven million data queries monthly.
Founded in 2011 in Mountain View, CA, after that epic first meeting with Bill Tai (who is now the Chairman of the Board), Treasure Data also has offices in Japan and Korea. It is backed by Sierra Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, IT Farm, SBI, INCJ, Bill Tai, and Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures, among others. In November 2016, Treasure Data announced the close of a $25 million Series C funding round, led by SBI (formerly known as SoftBank Investment) and INCJ (Innovation Network Corporation of Japan). This included additional investment from existing investors Scale Venture Partners, Sierra Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, Dentsu, IT-Farm, Bill Tai and others, bringing the company’s total funding to $53 million.
Weaponizing Big Data
“Since 2000, half of the companies that were in the Fortune 500 have been disrupted into extinction, due in part to slow reaction to market signals and shifts in customer behavior. While their own data could have told this story, and allowed them to adapt — they just couldn’t see it in time,” explained Hiro Yoshikawa, CEO and Co-Founder of Treasure Data. “Data is today’s strategic weapon for competitive advantage, proven by the most successful algorithm-driven businesses like Google, Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook. With a Live Data Management platform, any organization can immediately have a modern data stack, revealing a complete picture of their business to make better decisions — without investing years and massive engineering resources.”
“Live Data Management brings a company’s entire body of first- and third-party data together in one place, connects it together, and keeps it current, so all the people and algorithms that drive the business can access and analyze it to make critical decisions with confidence,” Yoshikawa continued. “Live Data helps clients more effectively identify, learn from, and respond to customer behavior, industry trends, and rapidly changing markets, with data from numerous sources that is always up-to-date and accessible.”
“What’s been missing is a common platform that can empower every key decision maker with a holistic view of what really matters, and confidently maintain a data driven viewpoint in real time. Today our customers have it with our Live Data Management,” Tai added.
Resources Used to Run the Business, not Understand Data
Treasure Data’s Live Data Management platform supports nearly 100 integrations with business-critical platforms and applications, ranging from Web and Mobile Analytics to CRM and BI, to Storage and Databases. The most popular containers like Docker and Kubernetes – taking on the burden of keeping up with the ever-changing protocols, formats, and API updates, so customers can spend their time and resources on running their business and not wrestling with data. This also includes support for Fluentd, open source software for data collection developed by Treasure Data, which Ohta describes as the “data collector of choice” for developers. It includes 600+ community-contributed plug-ins, and is used by more than 2,000 data-driven companies including Microsoft, Atlassian, Nintendo, NVIDIA and has been integrated into leading application platforms like Google Cloud Platform and Red Hat’s Openshift.
Key to the Circular Economy
In a circular economy, many companies will generate their revenues from product use instead of sales. Growth will rely on how good they are at understanding and catering to product use behavior, meaning that companies will need to monitor and analyze data in entirely new ways. The startup that made the Bloomberg ‘50 Most Promising Startups You’ve Never Heard Of’ list, is helping companies meet these new challenges.
“6 trillion data points are captured every month for customers, that help drive everything from car engine analysis, to which people see and meet on dating sites, as well as purchase recommendations on Wish.com,” Tai told SnapMunk.
- Pokémon GO: Treasure Data Fluentd software is used for Pokémon GO’s back-end data collection of every catch. Yes, as you catch ‘em all, Fluentd collects ‘em all. Consider that there are 65 million monthly active users of Pokémon GO, and then reconsider what the collection of every catch means concerning data capture. There is a treasure trove of data waiting to turn into the ultimate Pokémon GO trainer experience.
- Wish: From Day One, Wish used Treasure Data to disrupt the traditional eCommerce business model. For example, they realized that many demographics were underserved by today’s eCommerce players and went after the underserved markets aggressively. In just 5 years, Wish became the No 1/No 2 shopping app on both iOS and Android (depends on the week) and ranks top 3 in 30 countries. Through this incredible journey, Treasure Data scaled with Wish’s explosive growth.
- Shiseido: Treasure Data has changed how Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido communicates with their customers. Through unifying data on experience, demographics, and offline purchases into a holistic Customer Data Platform, Shiseido can deliver personalized, one-to-one customer experiences. The result is a double-digit boost in offline sales because they are gaining key insights on customer preferences surfaced from their digital footprint.
Gail is a Chicago-based food scientist who writes for leading US and European food and technology publications. A devotee of all things shiny, electronic and buzzing, with a passion for building on-line communities and conservation, she is an entrepreneur and founder of a sustainability and social media startup who moonlights on weekends as DJ Moongirl on Moonalice Radio. Clients range from rock bands and media companies to high-tech startups.
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