Data Software Firm CData Raises $ 140 Million From Updata Partners

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Amit Sharma, CEO of CData

Amit Sharma, CEO of CData

CData

Chapel Hill software maker CData, which helps businesses connect their data across a variety of cloud networks, has raised $ 140 million in Series B investment, one of the largest ever fundraisers by a startup Triangle this year.

The investment comes from the Washington, DC private equity firm Update Partners, which had already invested $ 20 million in the company last year.

Founded in 2014, CData has grown rapidly thanks to a huge business migration to cloud computing, company CEO Amit Sharma told The News & Observer.

Before the rise of cloud computing, most businesses stored their data on a centralized server. Now, this information can be stored on on-premises servers as well as many different cloud storage providers.

“Most companies have made a very strong shift to cloud applications,” Sharma said in a video interview. “All of their customer data and all of their transaction data is online. But connecting these systems is much more difficult than before. And that’s where CData specializes.

The pandemic has accelerated investment in cloud applications, Sharma added, a trend he doesn’t expect to slow down anytime soon.

“There are so many investments in this space. We are seeing more and more interested customers, ”he said. “I think we’re still in the early stages of what the cycle might look like.”

CData says more than 10,000 companies use its software in one way or another, although its relationship with these companies varies. For example, the company worked with Office depot to move its data to a cloud platform managed by the company Snowflake. CData helped them move the data, while being able to connect it to its existing analysis software.

“We like to joke among ourselves that we are the plumbing” of the Internet, said Sharma. “We’re not a very well-known company – most people don’t see what’s going on behind the scenes to get the data flowing. But we are the plumbing behind what businesses do day in and day out.

This turned out to be a great deal for CData.

Sharma said her business has had positive cash flow for several years and is growing its revenue by 50% per year.

He added that the company didn’t need to raise funds, but did so because it wanted more flexibility to invest in growth opportunities. “We could use this capital for an acquisition,” he said.

CData and Updata declined to reveal CData’s exact revenue figures or valuation.

Carter Griffin, General Partner of Updateata, said CData still had a lot of room to grow, especially to build brand awareness.

“The step we hope will help them take is to make it a name that other companies recognize,” Griffin said.

When asked if he thought the company had the potential to go public one day, Griffin replied, “I absolutely do.”

“Whether or not the company decides to go public is another question,” he added. “But I certainly think that will be an option in the future.”

Griffin said he believes CData should use the new capital to add employees who can conduct new product development research and expand its ability to serve customers.

He said CData now employs around 200 people, at its Chapel Hill offices in Europe and Asia. About half of the team is located in the Triangle.

“We’re probably going to take that 50% off this year, so maybe adding 100 people to the payroll,” he said.

Most of CData’s leadership team is based in the Triangle and has ties to UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, or NC State University.

Sharma immigrated to the Triangle to attend the state of North Carolina and then received her MBA from Duke.

“The Triangle is a great place,” said Sharma. “Recruiting has become more difficult, but for the right kind of people, you can find them. We find great talent from NC State, UNC and Duke. “

This story was produced with financial support from a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh as part of an Independent Journalism Fellowship program. The N&O retains full editorial control of the work. Learn more; go to bit.ly/newsinnovate

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Zachery Eanes is the Innovate Raleigh reporter for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. It covers technology, startups and large companies, biotechnology and education issues related to these fields.


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