Business intelligence and analytics firm Pyramid Analytics raises $100 million

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Business intelligence is an increasingly well funded category in the software as a service market. By processing large amounts of data to analyze and benchmark lines of business, BI promises to help you identify, develop, and otherwise create new revenue opportunities.

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Pervasive BI remains elusive, but statistics by category show that about a third of employees use BI tools for analytics to shape strategy. By 2030, the big data and business intelligence market could be worth $684 billion. according to appraisal reports, if such outrageously high estimates are to be believed.

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The segment contains too many suppliers to count – some of them include Nugata, Fractal Analytics, traininghidden view and Mu Sigma. But be that as it may, there is enough capital, as evidenced by pyramid analytics‘ last round of financing. Pyramid, which bills itself as a “decision platform”, today announced it has raised $120 million in Series E funding led by HIG Growth Partners, Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings and General Oriental Investments at a “nearly” $1 billion valuation. Co-founder and CEO Omri Kohl said the fresh cash will be used to expand Pyramid’s global footprint, hire new employees and improve the company’s existing software products.

Pyramid got its start in 2009 when Kohl and co-founders Avi Perez and Herbert Ohtman partnered with Microsoft to develop into a full-featured BI product. Ochtman has previously co-founded several companies, including Urix, a medical data analytics firm, while Kohl has launched his own startups, including Pdway, a “micropayments” platform.

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“In short, data groups in enterprise analytics are stuck in the past. It is difficult to scale data-driven decision making in an increasingly complex world. Many of the tools are outdated, broken, or simply too difficult to use,” Kohl said. “We saw an opportunity to help companies… change the way people make decisions with data. We have developed a roadmap for [Pyramid,] that combines data preparation, business intelligence and data science with the power of artificial intelligence and the security of managed self-service.”

Pyramid uses machine learning and AI to automate some of the technical work involved in preparing business data, analyzing it, and creating and sharing collaborative reports and dashboards. The code-free self-service platform also uses AI to provide explanations in certain areas of interest, using a query engine that accesses data where it is stored.

Kohl calls this “advanced analytics.” According to him, this phrase reflects the use of AI to “generate ideas” to help understand how people understand data. “Now senior executives are expected to make data-driven decisions, and traditional business intelligence tools don’t work,” he added. “This is where decision mining comes into play, bringing together disparate data sources into one intelligent platform for automated analysis.”

Customers, especially those in regulated industries, may rightly be concerned about how Pyramid handles their data. But Kohl says Pyrana’s query engine doesn’t need to move or transform data to perform operations on it.

“Pyrana brings analytics to data. This [reduces] data latency and data volume limits that are detrimental to the remote worker. You can only download so much data to a laptop. Thus, only a subset of the datasets can be used at a time,” he said. “Essentially, our customers leave their data where it is and bring analytics to their data.”

The problem Pyramid and its competitors face is expectations. Fifty-four percent of users who respond to vote from SoftwareReviews said they were unhappy with underdelivering BI vendors, expressing disappointment that the platforms were unable to provide new insights or find opportunities for business improvement. In many cases, features that are heavily advertised by BI vendors are achievable on existing platforms such as Microsoft Power BI, Qlik and Tableau.

Some executives also don’t want to use a BI tool they don’t trust. A 2021 poll published in the MIT Sloan Management Review found that many business people prefer to make their own decisions when an AI system gives them suggestions, regardless of the historical accuracy of the system.

Kohl insists that Pyramid is different, pointing to its sharp rise in recent months. The company has 2,450 customers (albeit a combination of direct and indirect), including the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and revenue is up 100% year-over-year. Investors are apparently confident that Series E has been oversubscribed by $20 million.

“Differentiation is critical – quality and completeness are key. We are fiercely independent for one reason. We want to stay true to our promise to customers to provide a rich analytics base, similar to how Adobe created a package for data-driven projects,” Kohl said. “We offer both powerful advanced analytics and a full suite of traditional analytics.”

Jerusalem Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Viola Growth also participated in the Series E Pyramid, bringing the company’s total fundraising to $211 million. Pyramid currently has 245 employees in London, New York and Tel Aviv and expects to approach 350 by the end of the year.

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