Cinchy is looking to grow its dataware data management technology with the help of a $14.5 million series B funding round it revealed on Thursday.
The 2017 startup, based in Toronto, develops a type of technology called dataware, which lets organizations view, manage and integrate data across disparate data sources. The Cinchy approach is an attempt to create a new type of data fabric that connects different data sources together in a way the vendor claims will "liberate" data from isolated sources.
The dataware model provides a central repository where data from different sources can be integrated. That data is then accessible to other applications by way of a universal API for data and a data browser.
The market for data fabric and data integration is competitive, with multiple vendors vying for market share. Talend develops a data fabric technology. Informatica is a leading vendor in data integration, and Denodo has a data virtualization platform that helps organizations use data in different locations.
How Cinchy dataware data management helps users
Among Cinchy's users is Benjamin Von Euw, innovation leader at Quebec City-based iA Financial Group. The company is using the dataware technology to help deal with the challenge of having a lot of data in many different places.
"We grew up by acquisition," Von Euw said. "We have mainframes. We have Oracle. We have all kinds of databases, local and in the cloud. Any kind of technology out there, we have got it."
Cinchy is also being used by Forgepoint Capital, which is one of Cinchy's investors, based in San Mateo, Calif.
Reynaldo KirtonSenior associate, Forgepoint Capital
As a venture capital firm, the company is continually trying to improve its processes for correlating research and investment theses, and maintaining and providing benchmarking data to its portfolio companies, said Reynaldo Kirton, senior associate at Forgepoint.
"Cinchy facilitates these processes by providing a centralized data platform with intelligent data augmentation that dynamically enriches and links data from siloed data sources," Kirton said.
The data browser in the Cinchy platform is also helpful for his firm, Kirton added. The data browser lets business users interact with, analyze and create live dashboards on integrated data without depending on data analysts.
Before Cinchy, analysis on combined data sources required manually copying and pasting data from different sources into Excel spreadsheets, Kirton said.
What dataware is
Cinchy did not coin the term dataware, which is also the name of Cinchy's platform.
Instead, that credit goes to Gordon Everest, associate professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota, who in the mid-1980s predicted a future in which data would become independent of applications, noted Dan DeMers, co-founder and CEO of Cinchy.
Before founding Cinchy, DeMers spent more than a decade in the financial services industry, where he observed the challenges organizations faced with data integration. In his experience, IT staff members were spending too much time and resources moving data from one place to another.
The promise of dataware is that it unlocks data from specific applications and databases so that it can be used in multiple locations and applications for business operations or data analytics.
"Think of it [dataware] like Google Drive, but for data -- and not just for people, but for applications, so they can all collaborate on data in real time," DeMers said.
How dataware manages data
Organizations can deploy Cinchy's platform on premises or in the cloud.
With both models, Cinchy provides a universal API that supports multiple technologies including REST and GraphQL to enable both applications and users to access data. The platform includes a multidirectional data synchronization engine that keeps data up to date in Cinchy as well as in the connected data sources and applications.
Rather than using some form of data normalization to transform all data into a common format, Cinchy uses a technology that enables what DeMers called metadata plasticity to create an agile and flexible data schema that can handle changes over time -- and remain accessible by any type of application.
Looking forward, DeMers said Cinchy plans to build out industry-specific platforms, including one for credit unions it released in September.
"You can expect to see similar offerings for other sectors and segments," he said.