What’s in a Name? Leading Periscope Data’s $25M Series B.

November 7, 2016
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Periscope Data

Periscope Data is developing analysis and visualization software that empowers SQL data analysts to do their job better.

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Investors love pattern recognition. When something works, we look for patterns that inform future successful investments as well. That’s why, when I originally met the founders of what is now my newest investment, I immediately spotted a powerful pattern: the company’s name sounded familiar, reminiscent of a past success. I quickly became convinced that this name would propel the company to similar levels of greatness, and I just had to invest.

Names make a difference. With childrenWith companies. So after the success of Periscope and an acquisition by Twitter in the record speed of 5 months, we scoured the Interverse for another company with a similarly compelling name. Finally, after devising a complex “name extraction” algorithm and deploying a robot-scraping server, we were able to identify a (nearly) perfect match. That is why today I am pleased to report that we recently led a $25 million Series B investment round in Periscope Data.

Harry and Tom, welcome to the portfolio!

(Just kidding — nervousness around this election may be making it hard for this writer to think straight.)

In truth, there is so much more to love about Periscope Data beyond their (obviously awesome) name. The company is laser-focused on creating software that empowers SQL data analysts to do their job better. Periscope gives analysts an “Iron Man suit” (to quote Harry, their CEO) that lets them run queries lightning fast and share dynamic dashboards with business stakeholders. This cycle of query-dashboard-share is the main workflow for analysts in data-driven organizations, but is a cumbersome, manual process today, and there has been little software innovation to date to make it more efficient.

Periscope’s approach echoes many of the themes we love in our developer platform investments like Twilio, Sendgrid, Intercom and npm. SQL analysts are very much a type of developer, and their numbers will continue to grow as data becomes increasingly critical to organizations across all sectors and stages. These analysts have traditionally been overlooked by software vendors, who have focused on selling BI software top down through business teams, which then ask analysts to use tools that they dislike and that are not designed for their needs. Periscope Data, in contrast, builds expressly for the analyst, and their go-to-market involves selling to individual analysts and small data teams, in much the same way that many of the developer platforms in our portfolio target individual developers.

Beyond the company’s strategy, we’ve been consistently blown away by the leaders driving this company’s growth. CEO Harry Glaser founded the company with his old friend Tom O’Neill, after both had very successful stints as product managers at Google and Microsoft. This team has a crisp, ambitious, and differentiated vision for their company, and they have been an absolute pleasure to get to know.

I’m excited to watch Periscope Data grow into a very successful business, one that we believe will transform how data analysts at companies large and small have real impact on the success of their organizations. As we’ve seen repeatedly, software tools that empower business users to do their best work have a bright future, and we are excited to partner with another company that makes this future a reality.