Dataupia has an odd name (presumably hinting at data utopia) but a very interesting idea. The technology was neatly summarised by Phil Howard so I won’t repeat the details. The key is that it promises something that sounds too good to be true: an appliance that runs on existing databases (Oracle, SQL Server etc) essentially removing the execution of queries and data management form the DBMS, and running queries on a massively parallel processing architecture using commodity hardware. Coming from one of the founders of Netezza, it has inherent credibility, and I am looking forward to hearing some production customer case studies to validate whether it is really as good as it claims. If it does something close to what it claims to do then it could have a great market, since it removes the key barrier that limits the market of data warehouse appliances like Netezza (and indeed Teradata, the uber “appliance”), which is the proprietary nature of their software. This makes buyers nervous and at the very least means a significant conversion effort for an existing application. But if you can really just plug in the Dataupia appliance without modifying any SQL, and just watch the queries run faster, then it will appeal to a whole range of creaking data warehouse applications that Netezza et al have yet to convince. Given that most data warehouses are smaller than you might think, there is a large market out there Dataupia can address which will never be appropriate for Netezza and the like. It also has partner potential due to its non-invasive nature e.g. Kalido and Dataupia already have a relationship, and there are already early OEM deals on show.
The venture world obviously buys the story, as in a fund-raising environment where enterprise technology companies are as out of fashion as corduroy, Dataupia has secured a USD 16 million B round. This is no mean achievement in itself these days. To me this is definitely a company to watch.