[Funding alert] Ratan Tata-backed Atlan raises Rs 18 Cr led by WaterBridge Ventures and others
Data democratisation company Atlan, which claims to be pioneering newer ways for teams to work with data, has raised Rs 18 crore in pre-Series A funding. WaterBridge Ventures led this round for Atlan, which is also backed by a host of marquee investors, including Indian industrialist Ratan Tata and former Google India chief Rajan Anandan .
Apart from them, US-based 500 Startups, Singapore-based Hatcher, and family offices such as the Bhagchandka family fund have also invested in the data collaboration platform. The company plans to invest the freshly raised capital to boost its global expansion and leadership hiring in the near future.
“We allow data teams – by that I mean all the different stakeholders involved in the process like date scientists, analysts, and engineers – to come together on the same platform and fully democratise data and processes inside the organisation,” Atlan Co-founder Prukalpa Sankar tells YourStory. “Think of us as the human experience layer.”
Founded in 2018 by Prukalpa and Varun Banka, who have another venture between them – data intelligence startup SocialCops, Atlan , is purely focused on enabling large enterprises to seamlessly collaborate on data projects. And to do that, Atlan’s products facilitate democratisation of data, both internal and external, while automating repetitive tasks.
Atlan’s products are at present used by more than 200 teams in 50+ countries. Their clientele includes top names such as Unilever, Milkbasket, Barbeque Nation, WPP and GroupM, Mahindra Group, and InMobi.
“We are reimagining every human interaction with data. For instance, code has a profile on GitHub—what would a 'profile' of data look like? What if you could share data as easily as a Google Sheets link, without worrying about the size or format? What if data scientists could acquire external data within minutes, instead of the months it takes right now?” adds Varun, Co-founder of Atlan, explaining the multi-faceted issues they are addressing.
From SocialCops to Atlan
The duo started SocialCops, a platform used by leaders and organisations in India and around the world, to make decisions faster, smarter, and more data-driven, during their last year at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University in 2013. At the time, the problem that they wanted to solve was to “use data to confront critical global challenges".
The platform proved to be widely successful. It was part of landmark projects, including India’s National Data Platform, global SDG monitoring in partnership with the United Nations, and India's successful gas subsidy programme. But working on these projects, the two also discovered the countless frictions that data teams face, which led to the inception of Atlan.
“Just as HubSpot created a home for marketing teams and GitHub created a home for engineering teams, we are creating a home for data teams,” Prukalpa says.
“To win with data, diverse individuals with their unique skill sets, DNA, and tool preferences such as engineers, data scientists, and business users need to collaborate effectively. We are building the glue—the collaboration layer—for these diverse teams, to make them more agile and efficient.”
On their strategy going forward, Prukalpa says: "Building an environment of trust is actually a core product philosophy for us, and manifests in every product decision we make. This means answering fundamental questions as a part of the product workflow — how can we make it incredibly easy for non-specialist users to access and use data of any scale and size without needing to download it? How can we make the best-in-class legal practices a part of the data acquisition workflow?"