Sqrrl Closes $2M in Funding, Moves to Cambridge to Grow Big Data Solution

Sqrrl announced today that it has raised $2 million in funding from Atlas Venture and Matrix Partners for its new scalable database technology that’s promising an attractive blend of scalability, security and analytics capability that will especially appeal to companies with tight privacy restrictions around their information. The company, founded by a team of ex-NSA techies, also announced a move from Washington, DC to Cambridge, MA where its funding is based and a vibrant community of big data-focused startups has emerged.

What Sqrrl wants to do with the funding is ramp up delivery and development of its big data solution, which is based on the open source Accumulo database technology. Sqrrl founder and CEO Oren Falkowitz described in an interview what it is that his company’s commercialized version of Accumulo can provide that helps it stand as a viable competitor to popular alternatives like HBase.

“Everyone knows that big data is hot, there are lots of investments and lots of discussions about how to leverage it, but we believe that the key inhibitors to its current and future success is the ability to bring data together, and the limitations to doing that based on security or data restrictions,” he said. “Our security controls allow data to be controlled at a very fine level so you can bring more of it together. Secondarily, what we do is solve the scalability problem. Our technology is proven to scale […] well beyond competitive technologies.”

What that combination of factors provides is an unprecedented ability to deliver secure, scalable analytics on massive data sets – the kind of information that’s relatively static and locked within government, defense, health and financial services companies. Falkowitz notes that even companies who aren’t necessarily looking for top flight security can take advantage of what its tech has to offer, however. “You don’t have to have the security aspect to take advantage of the scale and the analytic piece, but we find that those are problems for most people who have security issues as well,” he explained.

For Sqrrl, connecting with these investors at this point in time spurred the decision to move to Cambridge, where there’s a growing community popping up around big data technology and startups. That’s partly because nearby academic institutions like MIT produce a high level of engineering talent for companies tackling big data problems to source from, which fits nicely with Sqrrl’s intended use of this new injection of funds.

“Both Atlas and Matrix, and particularly Chris Lynch [Atlas] and Antonio Rodriguez [Matrix] both had extensive experience in big data and in startups, and we felt that moving to Boston would give us a strategic advantage in terms of hiring top talent, being in an emerging big data tech community, and being close to these guys,” Falkowitz said. “We have a very mature technology, and we want to hire top talent from the area, additional engineers and additional personnel to complement our core talents.”

Sqrrl has a great combination of solid talent, funding from key industry experts, and technology that’s at the top of a lot of enterprise wish lists right now. With a fresh $2 million in the bank and a new home close to the pulse of big data, the startup is in a very good spot, both in terms of its new location and big data solution.

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