4 smokin' hot startups: The next tech boom

Social networks are dead, and smart VC money is pouring into enterprise startups like Shoutlet, Asana, Narrative Science, and Delphix

By Trent Gegax, InfoWorld |  IT Management, entrepreneurship, startups

Narrative's Quill writing engine, an artificial-intelligence platform powered by Backbone JavaScript library, grew out of a 2009 cross-discipline project between Northwestern's schools of engineering and journalism. Quill's magic is combing and collecting massive stores of data for its self-teaching algorithms to interpret, then overlay with context, and finally, fit into templates structured to conform to various reports.

Applications include everything from sifting management reports or market analysis out of spreadsheets to reporting on Little League baseball games. Immediately, profit-pressed media companies like Forbes understood the value. Now, SMBs use Narrative to produce internal reports. Ancestry.com uses Narrative for its users to turn reams of unwieldy genealogical records into family stories. Stuart Frankel, former head of DoubleClick's Performics subsidiary, was so impressed that he became CEO of the company. Narrative investors include Battery Ventures (Exact Target, Angie's List), Ron Conway, and former DoubleClick powerhouses David Rosenblatt and Chris Saridakis.

DelphixOnly big companies with big budgets can afford multiple environments for any old production database they need to work with, right? Not now that Delphix is around. Aware that lots of businesses would like to create lots of environments -- for development, for testing, for QA, for risk management, application re-architecture -- Delphix founder Jedidiah Yueh came up with a ridiculously simple solution.

Delphix virtualizes the data files and blocks comprising a database by creating a "single data authority" that drops into any environment -- private cloud, public cloud, standard servers -- and hits the Record button. Need a new copy of that database? Click over to Delphix; it has the latest copy of your database because the company is constantly TiVoing it.

Give Delphix this time-machine capability over your data and Yueh says he'll give you a ridiculously long cascade of redundant copies of a database for, oh, a lot less than you're paying now. Delphix provisions a 10TB database that typically takes six months and a million dollars' worth of hardware in three clicks, 10 seconds, shrunk down to 1TB. Think about it: three clicks.

True metrics like that executed by a team like Delphix's tend to attract A-list investors. In this case, Greylock and Lightspeed got in on the first round in 2008. Delphix's $25 million Series C funding round in June was standing room-only, adding Battery Ventures (Splunk). The A-list investors are excited about a Delphix team that's been around the block, developing Oracle RAC and EMC Avamar (pioneer of data deduplication).


Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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