Mode, a five-year-old San Francisco-based collaborative analytics platform, has raised $ 23 million under the leadership of Valor Equity Partners-funded Series C funding.
Foundation Capital and REV Venture Partners who led the Fashion A and B Series Financing rounds also participated in the round, bringing the company's total funding to $ 50 million.
In a sense, the investment is a bet on the continued need for data scientists, despite the many companies focusing on manufacturing data analysis available and understandable to a wider range of employees, such as Snowflake and BigQuery.
As fashion co-founder and CEO Derek Steer sees it, today's tools may require organizations to have fewer data scientists. However, they also need to empower individuals to answer key questions quickly and effectively, such as how customers use their products in unexpected ways, how companies can use the trends they see in the data, and other business intelligence issues. The mode does this through a built-in SQL editor, Python, R notebooks, and a visualization builder that gives users the flexibility to choose the abstraction level they want for a given dataset.
The investment is also a bet on Steer David Obrand, a Valor partner who has joined the board and previously worked with Steer on Yammer, the corporate social networking site acquired by Microsoft in 201
Obrand, who was Yammer's chief customer officer before, writes of Steer as a "key to the accelerated [Yammer’s] way as a data-driven business". He goes on to say that Steer "personifies the person he serves."
Importantly, Steer learned at Yammer how to build a business "freemium" software company that is taken over by an organization after a small staff base has actively deployed the free version. In fact, the fashion playbook is pretty much the same, and data scientists get access to a free product called Fashion Studio. They hope that this becomes the core of their work flow for many, and they ask a broader team of decision makers about the organization that should use it.
This plan seems to work. Steer tells us that 600 organizations are now using fashion, including Twitch, Lyft, Shopify, Meredith and Conde Nast. And although he does not know exactly how high the percentage of users who pay the company for his tools, the latest round suggests that the number matters.
Currently, fashion targets companies with up to 5,000 seats. It is also largely aimed at an American audience.
With its new capital, the company is planning geographic expansion, including hiring employees outside of San Francisco for the first time. Steer suggests to expect new features. The company also plans to expand each of its divisions, focusing in particular on community efforts.