Castor, a data catalog platform, today announced it has raised $23.5M in a Blossom-led Series A funding round involving Frst and angel investors including Florian Dueto, founder of Dataiku. CEO and co-founder Tristan Mayer said the proceeds will be used to expand the company’s 25-person workforce, with a particular focus on marketing and sales.
Castor and others data directories are collections of metadata, data management, and search tools designed to help users find the data they need in an organization. Data catalogs also serve as registries of available data, providing information for assessing whether the data is appropriate for a particular application.
Mayer founded Castor in 2020 with Xavier de Boiredon, a former data scientist at Ubisoft. The two created data catalog software that Payfit and Qonto’s data executives, Arnaud de Turckheim (Payfit) and Amaury Dumoulin (Qonto), were initially fed up with selling. But Konto and Turkheim, sensing a greater opportunity, decided to quit their jobs and join Boiredon and Mayer in launching Castor together.
“We’re committed to helping people find, understand and use data,” Mayer told TechCrunch in an email interview. “With increased automation, Castor makes it easy to capture the context needed to understand the data. We help people create a culture of data collaboration.”
Castor provides data discovery tools to help users understand the context of data. Focusing on use cases such as optimizing data compliance projects and migrating to the cloud, Castor connects to cloud data stores including Snowflake, BigQuery, Redshift, and business intelligence tools such as Looker, Tableau, and Metabase to automatically create and update documentation , which employees can turn to when they have data-related questions.
“Castor optimizes the performance, cost, compliance and security of company data. A robust infrastructure helps improve the data experience,” Mayer said. “From a product point of view, the difference between Castor depends on concepta user interface that enables company-wide viral adoption, plenty of automation to painlessly combine context and data. From a go-to-market perspective, Castor’s “land and expand” pricing model and 15-minute onboarding process make it easy to get started.”
Castor competes with startups such as delight, Data.Worldas well as collibra in the data directory space. But to date, the company has managed to attract several high-profile clients, including Deliveroo and Canva.
Of course, interest in data catalogs remains high, but Castor has a lot of work to do when it comes to customer acquisition. According According to a 2021 Eckerson Group survey, while 94% of organizations plan to deploy a data catalog, only about a third of early adopters said their data catalog met their expectations. Complexity of tools, lack of user support, and poor integration with other systems and tools were cited as major problems.
“Castor has about 50 clients with between 50 and 10,000 employees,” Mayer said. “The platform is of great value to data and technical decision makers, as well as to senior executives. Indeed, company-wide consistency is extremely difficult as the company grows. Castor helps them get a general idea of what’s going on with the data in the company.”
In the latest funding round, Castor’s total raised funds reached $25 million.
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