OmniSci (formerly MapD) Charts $55M in Funding for GPU-Powered Analytics

The startup has experienced explosive growth and more than tripled customers in the past year.
by Scott Martin

OmniSci, a data-visualization startup that’s just changed its name from MapD, has a chart of its own: hockey stick growth.

The pioneer in GPU-driven analytics, which delivers its popular data visualizations in the blink of an eye, on Wednesday landed $55 million in Series C funding from investors, including NVIDIA. It was the fourth time NVIDIA has participated in one of its fund-raising rounds.

OmniSci CEO Todd Mostak, who originally built the technology as a researcher at Harvard and MIT, realized early the speed advantages of GPUs over CPUs to query and visualize massive datasets.

OmniSci’s SQL database engine fully exploits GPUs, offering in-memory access to big data. Its software allows customers to slice and dice data and serve up graphics and visualizations from billions of data points on the fly. It quickly made a splash for its ability to power real-time visual data analytics over more than a billion tweets.

“We cache as much as possible on the memory of these GPUs,” said Mostak, the company’s CEO. “We have taken the fastest hardware out there to optimize our software. You have all this legacy software out there that relies on CPUs, and it simply cannot provide interactive and real-time analytics at the scales data-driven organizations are grappling with.”

The startup’s software is aimed at data-intensive sectors, including automotive, telecommunications, financial, entertainment, defense and intelligence. The company recently rebranded to OmniSci, inspired by the idea of the endless pursuit of knowledge and insight for everyone.

OmniSci unleashes the massively parallel processing capabilities of GPUs to instantly query multibillion-sized datasets. Customers use OmniSci to answer queries in milliseconds that, in some cases, used to take nearly a day. And OmniSci can exploit the visual computing benefits of GPUs to transform massive datasets into interactive visualizations.

A screenshot of an OmniSci public demo, showcasing interactive cross-filtering and drill-down on nearly 12B rows of telematics data from U.S. ship transponders.

Lightning-fast analytics from OmniSci are powering faster, and financially impactful, business decisions. Verizon, for example, uses OmniSci to process billions of rows of communications data in real time to monitor network performance in real time, improving customer service and optimizing field service decisions.

“Analytics and data science professionals are realizing there’s this new architecture emerging into the mainstream,” said Mostak.

OmniSci can be installed on-premises, and it runs on AWS and Google Cloud, harnessing NVIDIA GPUs. In March, the startup launched its own GPU-accelerated analytics-as-a-service cloud at our GPU Technology Conference. OmniSci Cloud makes the world’s fastest open source SQL engine and visual analytics software available in under 60 seconds, from a web browser.

OmniSci plans to use the funding to accelerate research and development as well as to support the open source community and expand to meet “rapidly growing enterprise demand,” particularly in the U.S. federal market and Europe, Mostak said.

The company has experienced explosive growth, significantly expanding its employee base and more than tripling customers in past year alone, according to the company.

Lead investor Tiger Global Management cites OmniSci’s potential for major impacts to the analytics market, noting a “growing ecosystem of software purpose-built to run on GPUs can have a transformative impact to a number of software categories,” according to partner Lee Fixel.

OmniSci, founded in 2013, has now raised $92 million in total funding. See its technology in action at GTC Europe, which runs Oct. 9 to 11.