Belgian startup Soda announced today that it has raised €11.5 million in a Series A round to accelerate the development of its data monitoring platform, which streamlines how teams find data worth fixing. The round was led by leading European venture investor, Singular, with returning participation from seed investors Point Nine Capital, Hummingbird Ventures, DCF and angel investors.
According to Gartner’s Data Quality Market Survey, the average financial impact of bad data on organisations in 2017 was estimated to be around $15 million (€12.4 million) per year. This is because people across any business (such as data engineers, developers, data scientists, managers, senior executives) are all exposed to data, and use it as part of their roles every day. If data is incomplete or damaged, the time taken to correct the data is both time-consuming and costly. For Soda, maintaining data quality is a team sport that means everyone who has a stake in the data – and that is everyone in the business – needs to understand it, trust it, and stay on top of it. Soda’s mission is to bring everyone closer to trusted data.
Raffi Kamber, General Partner at lead investor, Singular, said, “Analysis and usage of data has become business critical in most applications. Data quality needs to be preserved everywhere in a modern data stack, which is becoming increasingly massive and complex. A natural need has thus emerged for a platform that monitors data and provides a unified view of the data and its issues to all the stakeholders. That’s what Soda is about, and Maarten and Tom bring deep expertise on this issue to the industry, their partners and customers.”
“Testing and monitoring of software and infrastructure is ubiquitous, so why don’t we apply the same principles to data, arguably any business’ most important strategic asset? The world’s fastest-growing companies rely on data in online retail, financial markets and even vaccine discovery, and in every instance the quality and integrity of the data is paramount,” explained Tom Baeyens, CTO and co-founder of Soda. “Our data monitoring platform empowers teams to collaborate seamlessly to firstly define what quality data looks like, and then resolve issues swiftly before they have an adverse impact on the business downstream.”
Reflecting the rapidly growing importance of the data monitoring category, Soda’s Series A round follows soon after a seed round of €2.6 million led by Point Nine Capital, one of Europe’s leading early-stage investors, bringing total financing to over €14 million over the past six months. In 2018, Soda won €500K as part of an Innovative Starters Award from Innoviris, the Brussels regional institute for Research and Innovation.
Louis Coppey, Partner at Point Nine Capital, said, “Beyond our conviction that the data monitoring space is one of the most exciting new categories, we, at Point Nine, have been very impressed by Tom and Maarten’s deep insight into the problem and by their ability to build global demand for the product. We are excited to continue supporting the team as they bring this critical brick of infrastructure to the modern Enterprise.”
Soda (founded in 2018) plans to use the funding to develop the usability and scalability of its cloud-based platform, in addition to establishing a global community of users. Available as a ‘soon-to-be-released’ open source community edition and enterprise edition, Soda’s platform keeps data fit for purpose, verifiable and trustworthy by connecting data engineers, operations and the business to collaborate and work with trusted data. The platform’s interface is accessible and easy-to-use, enabling users to effortlessly instrument multiple datasets across any data workload to create observability so that anyone in the organisation can collaborate on data monitoring. This means businesses can adapt quickly to change, swiftly deploy new technologies and build innovative new products on solid data foundations.
“Companies like Amazon, Tesla and Deliveroo have shown that you can disrupt entire markets at scale with data. Businesses are moving from using data to being built entirely on data, but there are challenges in terms of how they collect, process and maintain this data. You need to test and monitor data to stay on top of it, but most companies don’t have the capabilities and engineering resources to do this,” said Maarten Masschelein, CEO and cofounder of Soda. “We have seen a surge in demand for our data monitoring platform from innovative digital companies wanting to address these challenges, and this round of funding allows us to start commercially meeting this need. Soda is leading the way to a future where companies all over the world can build and rely on data of the highest quality.”