Redbird promises to make everyone in your company a data analyst
Too bad for beleaguered data engineers, says New York startup Redbird, which just announced $7.6 million in seed funding as it seeks to come to their rescue. The money will help the company make further improvements to its data analytics operating system – and support the growth of a company whose revenue has increased ninefold since the start of 2021.
Why do data engineers need rescue? The problem, says Erin Tavgac, co-founder and CEO of Redbird, is that they are chronically under-resourced and horribly overworked. “We live in a world where businesses are told that every decision should be data-driven, and data volumes are growing exponentially,” Tavgac says. “But most companies experience the same frustrations.”
One of the problems is that automation hasn’t happened – by some estimates over a trillion dollars is spent each year on manual data-related tasks and Tavgac believes two-thirds of that work should really be automated. A second difficulty is fragmentation – in their efforts to extract the maximum value from data, companies regularly buy four or five different data tools that don’t work together.
The biggest problem, however, is the sheer scale of the task faced by data engineers given their limited numbers. “At the companies we work with, it’s quite common to find a ratio of 100 sales reps for every data engineer,” observes Tavgac. “It’s a recipe for disaster.”
The combined effect of these issues is that staff in functions such as marketing, sales, finance and many more seek support that data engineering teams have no chance of providing in a timely manner. The promise of data and analytics is smarter, faster decision-making – a promise that is undermined if requests for a particular data project take weeks or months to complete.
Redbird’s solution is an operating system that not only provides a full suite of much more automated data services – spanning collection, wrestling, modeling and reporting – but also offers a user-friendly interface that does not require specialized technical knowledge to be used. The idea is that business function analysts should be able to manage many of their own data projects – all they have to do is point and click – freeing up data engineers to help them on more complex or technical.
It’s a solution for both parties, says Tavgac. “Many people in the business will know exactly what they want from a data project and can use Redbird to get it without being at the mercy of their underfunded data engineering teams,” he says. . “Similarly, the data team will have the time and space to collaborate and co-create – to work with the business to develop the data solutions it needs.”
The analogy he draws is to the early days of computing before simple, user-friendly operating systems made PCs usable by anyone; those without specialized coding could not use the new technology. Redbird is therefore the data analysis equivalent of a Microsoft Windows on an Apple operating system; it aims to bring many more features within reach of everyday users, while offering more complex features to specialists.
Tavgac, who founded the company with his brother Deren Tavgac, who is now COO of Redbird, believes Redbird will evolve the same way these core technologies have changed over time. It hopes to be able to offer voice commands, for example, so users don’t even have to touch a keyboard to organize data projects. He thinks third-party app providers will eventually want to offer tools on the platform.
That’s for the future, but customers are already signing up for Redbird in its current form. The company, launched commercially less than two years ago, has already achieved its goal and is generating seven-figure revenues. Unlike many in the start-up space, Redbird targets large enterprises – typically with revenues over $1 billion – and that’s where Tagvac thinks the biggest frustration with data lies. makes you feel.
The company’s funding round has the potential to accelerate its growth trajectory and product development. The oversubscribed round was led by multi-stage investment firm B Capital, with participation from Y Combinator, Thomson Reuters Ventures, Alumni Ventures and Soma Capital, along with several other funds and angel investors. “We believe Redbird will become an essential platform for businesses to manage complex data workflows,” said Karen Page, general partner at B Capital.