Cloudera Rides Hadoop, Big Data to Market Advancement

Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly says the company will remain one of the largest players in the Hadoop and big data space when it all settles.

NEW YORK–With its latest round of funding, big data darling Cloudera is poised to go public some time down the road as the company continues to integrate its operations and work more closely with partners.

Speaking at the GigaOm Structure Data conference here on March 20, Tom Reilly, CEO of Cloudera, talked about how the enterprise data hub is becoming an integral part of data management architectures by handling interactive SQL, transformation, stream processing, advanced analytics and other workloads.

On March 18, Cloudera announced a new round of financing at $160 million led by T. Rowe Price, along with three other top-tier public market investors, and included an investment by Google Ventures and an affiliate of MSD Capital, L.P., the private investment firm for Michael S. Dell and his family.

“If you have 401ks you’re likely now investors in Cloudera,” Reilly quipped to the audience. He noted that with the new round of $160 million, Cloudera has raised $300 million to date.

However, whether public or not, “this is a market where we’re going to see a number of large companies emerging; Cloudera will be the largest. Yet, Reilly acknowledged that with its enterprise data hub strategy, Cloudera is put in direct competition with the likes of IBM and Pivotal. An enterprise data hub enables enterprises to take on large scale, more advanced and diverse workloads and realize new strategic benefits from their data that was previously discarded or difficult to incorporate into business insights.

“IBM and Pivotal compete with us in terms of a Hadoop distribution,” Reilly said, but Cloudera is quickly certifying hundreds of ISVs and partners that will give the company versatility in the space. “Both IBM and Pivotal are very committed to this space.”

Overall, Cloudera is interested in bringing a complete platform to market, Reilly said. “We don’t need to extend up the stack,” he noted. Rather, Cloudera is working to broaden its offering to be more secure, governed, compliant, reliable and managed, he said.

“We spend a lot of our time delivering that capability,” Reilly said. So rather than focus on trying to go public right now, “Our funding will allow us to put more resources into the community,” he said. “There are a lot of projects we want to support.” Reilly also joked that before trying to go public, Cloudera must get off of QuickBooks and install an ERP system.

Meanwhile, the funding will help Cloudera to bolster its partner integration efforts and grow the team working on that. Reilly said he wants to ensure integration with its key business intelligence (BI), analytics and extract, transfer, load (ETL) partners. The company will continue to deliver converged analytics solutions, he said.