One loves logistics and the other ran an IT empire. Together, they feel that machine learning can pave the way to real-time Big Data analytics. Both UPS and Scott McNealy, former CEO of Sun Microsystems, participated in an "oversubscribed" round of Series A financing for Skytree, a California-based company that seeks to bring machine learning to the enterprise.
U.S. Venture Partners (USVP) headed the funding round, which totaled $18 million.
The infusion of capital will help the firm "aggressively grow" its engineering and sales efforts, according to Skytree CEO Martin Hack. The company's customer roster already includes the eHarmony dating site, the United States Golf Association and the SETI Institute.
The startup's flagship product is Skytree Server, a software platform that runs on commodity x86 servers and accepts structured and unstructured data from sources that can include relational databases and Hadoop. It then applies machine learning principles to make quick work of Big Data sets, allowing organizations to explore and model data in near real-time.
Skytree boasts that the product "is the first general purpose machine learning and advanced analytics system, designed to accurately process massive datasets at high speeds." And in its quest to mainstream machine learning, the company is targeting the white-hot, Big Data-driven business intelligence market.
In a blog post, Hack provided some insights into his company's ambitions.
"The Big Data Battle is moving 'up the stack' from pure data storage and management towards analyzing data, and that's where the real value for the enterprise is – extracting more value out of data and making new discoveries. That's why machine learning is heating up the market—it pushes the new frontier beyond what today’s BI can offer," wrote Hack.
Hack added that machine learning helps organizations derive actionable insights from existing and incoming data, so they can make predictions and recommendations and find outliers.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Enterprise Apps Today and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.