WEKA, a data platform for achieving first-to-market results in AI/ML, life sciences research, and HPC, has raised $73 million in new funding, bringing the company’s total funding to $140 million. Hitachi Ventures led this recent round. WEKA will utilize the new funding to accelerate go-to-market activities, operations, and engineering.
WEKA technologies are designed to prepare the “rapid and agile” data center for the future. Its advanced architecture, which is optimized for NVMe-flash and the hybrid cloud, would handle the most demanding storage challenges in the most data-intensive technical computing environments, delivering the highest performance at any scale and allowing businesses to get the most out of their data center investments.
WEKA saw extraordinary customer velocity in FY21 (ending November 2021), with >2x ARR increase, >125 percent growth in new customers, and WEKA being deployed in 18 new countries around the world. WEKA was also named a Magic Quadrant Visionary by Gartner. This momentum has continued into 1Q’FY22, with the company exceeding its sales target in the first 14 days of the quarter.
“The Global 1000s are now aggressively integrating Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning practices and technology into their core business processes, creating new products and services that were impossible to even imagine previously,” said Liran Zvibel, Co-Founder and CEO at WEKA. “GPUs and accelerated computing technologies are rapidly replacing traditional CPU compute at 100-1000 times performance, shifting the AI bottleneck from CPU access to data access, and creating a huge market opportunity for WEKA’s modern Data Platform for AI. At WEKA we have built the best data platform technology for Cloud and AI, alongside the most innovative go-to-market motion selling through the public cloud providers and the large server vendors, being a true software company. Our latest round will enable WEKA to deliver better and faster outcomes to more customers and improved integration with our ecosystem.”
What Investors Have to Say
The oversubscribed funding round was led by Hitachi Ventures. Other investors participating in this round were strategic investors, including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, NVIDIA, Cisco, and Micron, and financial investors including MoreTech Ventures, Key 1 Capital, and Ibex Investors.
“WEKA’s market-leading high-performance, scalable data platform enables data-driven organizations to speed up research, analytics and other data intensive applications resulting in faster outcomes that accelerate time-to-market and provide a competitive edge,” said Jun Abe, Chairman of the Board at Hitachi Vantara. “As the volume of unstructured data skyrockets, CIOs and IT professionals are now looking at object storage and WEKA’s distributed file solution to support modern GPU workloads, high performance data analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to make faster and more accurate decisions from their data.”
“WEKA’s unique unified software solution addresses the demands of operating in large, data-intensive environments to unlock the full potential of Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning for Fortune-500 customers in finance, healthcare, life sciences and GPU-enabled environments,” said Zack Keinan, Founding Partner at MoreTech Ventures. “With the explosion of unstructured data and the migration of AI workloads from on-prem to cloud, WEKA is delivering what its customers need better than anyone – a Data Platform for AI with unlimited scale and unrivaled performance.”
“The sheer speed in which we see the Enterprise AI market is developing is staggering,” said Gal Gitter, Partner and Managing Director at Ibex Investors. “We are seeing a massive increase in the use of AI/ML and HPC applications that are driving new products and services for enterprises. However, supporting these applications at scale entails really difficult storage challenges or tradeoffs. This is where WEKA comes in, enabling a tremendous acceleration for enterprises’ AI applications: from ingestion to cleansing to storage. WEKA has been adding customers and partners at an explosive pace, and we could not be more excited to back them. Simply put, if your enterprise is serious about AI – you need WEKA.”
“WEKA’s technology is a groundbreaking one, particularly in the high-performance computing and AI/ML space,” said Danny Akerman, Founding Partner at Key 1 Capital. “Its software-defined storage approach is unique and has proven invaluable in rapidly expanding its customer base and accelerating top line growth. We are delighted to join WEKA’s strong investor base and management team at this transformative time in the company’s life.”
“Ongoing participation from growth stage strategic investors is a valuable performance metric for any growing business,” concluded Intekhab Nazeer, CFO at WEKA. “I’m very pleased that this round brought us significant investment from many of our existing investors, as well as new investors, including Hitachi Ventures, Cisco’s Growth Investment Fund, Micron Ventures, Ibex Investors, MoreTech Ventures and Key 1 Capital. We are now extremely well-positioned to ramp our end-to-end operations, engineering, and go-to-market activities for the next wave of Enterprise AI.”