Why Underscore VC Invested: Cazena
5 Min Read

Why We Invested in Instant Data Lake Provider, Cazena

To improve decision making and customer experiences through analytics and AI/ML, enterprises need reliable and universal access to an increasing volume, and variety of data – data which is coming at them through internal and external channels at an accelerating velocity.

At Underscore we refer to this challenge as the three V’s: volume, variety, and velocity.

The first step to overcoming this challenge gave rise to the data lake, “a centralized repository that allows you to store all your structured and unstructured data at any scale”. But the next, very important step is using all that data effectively, and making data accessible for all kinds of analytics use cases. From spreadsheets to CRMs, websites to IoT devices, companies want to collect, store, and easily access data from multiple sources and use new tools for analytics, ML and AI.

Data lakes have challenged organizations to scale their infrastructure, security, and capabilities for big data, adding new DevOps and navigating new cloud technologies, all while under pressure to reduce costs. It is estimated that 60% of enterprises struggle with cloud data lakes. Meanwhile, the urgency to advance analytics, ML, and AI has increased, with businesses demanding innovative applications that deliver faster and more actionable insights.

Cazena Cloud Data Lake Diagram

Enter Cazena, the first instant data lake offering a true SaaS experience that accelerates time to analytics and AI/ML from months to minutes.

Founded by Netezza leaders, Cazena is revolutionizing cloud data lakes and enabling their customers to gain actionable insight from a data lake, without the cost and complexity of building, running, scaling, securing, and managing it themselves.

It’s a deeply technical solution to a painful problem faced by a $20B market, and it’s being built by a proven team based right outside of Boston, MA. That’s why we’re proud to announce our investment in and partnership with the company.

What is Cazena?

Cazena was founded to make cloud data lakes easy for all enterprises. Companies using Cazena’s Instant Data Lake stand to complete what would be months-long analytics projects in a number of minutes, with enterprise customers saving $1M or more each year thanks to automation.

Cazena boasts four key features that customers, such as Worthington Industries and CWT, are enthusiastically embracing:

Turnkey SaaS: End-to-end data lake orchestration for instant deployment

Continuous Ops: Cazena’s SaaS data lakes are automated, fully-managed, and optimized for your organization’s workload.

Self-Service Analytics: Regardless of their role, employees can share and access the data they need to do their jobs.

Security & Compliance: With its layered defense model, companies can trust Cazena to keep their data secure and protected.

Cazena Instant Data Lake Platform Architecture

Cazena’s Instant Data Lake platform architecture and Instant Data Lake SaaS Console.

Why We Invested Now

At Underscore, we take pride in funding Seed to Series A rounds for startups, but occasionally, the case for backing companies like Cazena, outside of this realm, cannot be ignored. A $20B market with a proven team delivering not only fast growth but 100% retention and 64% expansion was irresistible.

Experienced Founders With a Shared Journey and Purpose

One of the reasons Cazena has filled a void is because it is led by a strong, experienced team of experts in the field.

Chairman Jim Baum (former CEO of Netezza and Endeca), and Board Member Jit Saxena (former founder & Chairman of Netezza) and Founder & CEO Prat Moghe (SVP Products, Netezza), have a shared history. The three worked together to lead data warehouse company Netezza to its successful IPO and then honed their respective skills while scaling the company before eventually being acquired by IBM for $1.7B.

Through Cazena’s instant data lake in the cloud, the founding team is extending Netezza’s mission of making data accessible and analytics simplified for enterprise companies.

As an added layer of appeal, outside of their roles at Cazena, the founding team exhibits a passion for fostering the next generation of entrepreneurship. All three are members of the Underscore Core community, where they lend their expertise to executives and entrepreneurs in the Boston area and help connect new founders with opportunities to source capital.

The Cazena Team

A Valuable Domain With Enormous Potential

Building a cloud data lake is not simple. It requires skills and resources that many companies – even enterprises – may not have. Production deployment requires 6-9 months, and millions of dollars are spent annually on teams that are hard to recruit, hire, and retain.

With a projected market size of $20 billion by 2024, data lakes are set to grow in need as more companies demand a reliable modernized data infrastructure that allows for the implementation of AI/ML and analytics for their digital initiatives. According to Gartner, 52% of surveyed enterprises plan to add data lakes over the next 24 months.

In other words, Cazena is helping a big market solve a big problem. And they’ve created a deeply powerful solution that their customers love.

Sustained Momentum

With over a million monthly data lake workloads running globally on Cazena, Cazena customers have a 100% renewal rate on their production data lakes and have expanded their data lakes by 64% on average.

Because of the success of their customers, Cazena is scaling rapidly to meet the growing demand for its Instant Data Lake.

With the growing demand for its instant cloud data lake, @Cazena expands its executive team and closes a new funding round with @UnderscoreVC Click To Tweet

What the Future Holds

As Cazena looks ahead to help more enterprises interpret and act on their data, the company is developing the roadmap for the next generation of products.

Expanded capabilities, ongoing optimization, and deepening partnerships with major cloud providers will further cement Cazena’s promise as an inevitable industry leader itself. And the Underscore team and Core will proudly support the team at each step along the way!