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Montreal’s Plotly Raises $5.5 Million Series A Funding Round

What is data mining’s future? Companies like Montreal’s Plotly might be writing it.

Montreal data science platform developer Plotly has raised a $5.5 million Series A round of funding, led by MHS Capital and Siemens Venture Capital, with assists from Rho Ventures, Real Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank.

“As early stage investors, it is our mission to identify passionate, driven, tenacious entrepreneurs on the path to building market-leading companies, and after spending time with the Plot.ly team, speaking with their users, and delving deeply into their product offering, we believe the team at Plot.ly is on the path to building a very special company,” said Vijay Nagappan of MHS Capital.

The funding will help to expand Plotly’s engineering and sales teams to better serve its existing 200,000 strong user base and expand its enterprise service.

Founded two years ago, Plotly already counts among its clients Google, NASA and the U.S. Air Force, as well as journalists working for the Guardian, Wired and the Boston Globe.

Plotly’s Chrome app has been installed over 60,000 times.

Its competitors include Domino Data Lab and Sense, both based in San Francisco, although what those platforms lack is the social aspect of Plotly’s collaborative platform.

The need for services like Plotly to help companies understand and process Big Data in meaningful and actionable ways has increased dramatically over the past couple of years.

“It used to be impossible to collaborate, share data and graphs, and work together on data analysis,” says co-founder and CEO Jack Parmer. “We’re changing that by making collaboration easy and delightful. Making beautiful, interactive graphs and sharing them online has only been possible if you’re a developer. We’re changing that by giving anyone with an Internet connection world-class graphing and statistical tools. It’s exciting to support real scientists, developers, analysts, and engineers using the platform to share their work with the Plotly community, their team, and the world.”

Pointing out that 90% of the world’s total data has been generated in the last few years, the need for meaningful ways of interpreting data is becoming “mission critical”, according to 82% of executives surveyed on the subject. Since 2010, demand for data scientists has increased 12-fold, and a shortfall of 190,000 people with the analytical skills to work with Big Data in the U.S. is forecast by 2018.

The company has plans to introduce interactive 2D and 3D maps, automatic database updates, and customizable dashboards to its platform.

Plotly is headquartered in Montreal, with offices in San Francisco and Boston.

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