Maana lands $28M funding to go after industrial data analytics


Maana Inc. today said it has raised a $28 million late-stage funding round to expand its effort to win the data analytics market for the oil and gas industry.

New investors China International Capital Corp., Eight Square CapMaana ital, Accenture Ventures and Sino Capital led the round, which also saw participation from existing investors Intel Capital, GE Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures and Shell Technology Ventures. The Series C round brings Maana’s total funding to date to $68 million since its founding in April 2012.

If you haven’t heard of Maana, that’s because the company is focused on the industrial internet, especially the oil and gas industry, where it said its Knowledge Platform is playing a “key role” in accelerating digital transformation among energy producing companies.

Maana’s analytics platform is an alternative to more familiar data warehouses, which are the central repositories for all of the data that an enterprise’s various business systems collect, and “data lakes,” which are storage repositories that hold a vast amounts of raw data in their native format until needed.

Instead, Maana advocates what it calls a “knowledge graph,” which is a newer technology that stores data in such a way that it’s easier to connect the dots between different data sources and provide greater insights.

“It’s almost like the Rubik’s cube of databases,” Forrester Research Inc. analyst Michele Goetz once said of knowledge graph technology. “You can look at your data from any angle. You can see the relationships. You can ask questions and get deeper insights.”

Some of the biggest proponents of knowledge graphs including tech titans such as Google Inc., which uses it to improve its search engine results, and Facebook Inc., which relies on the technology for searches, advertising and the personalized delivery of stories in users’ news feeds. As an example of how it works, a marketing firm might want to use a knowledge graph to correlate customer names with data on where they live, their web browsing habits and other behavioral data, without needing to move that data to a central repository first.

In the case of Maana, however, most of its customers apply its knowledge graph to data about their industrial assets. For example, one oil industry customer isusing Maana’s Knowledge Platform to index multiple, unstructured data sources such as refinery incident reports, information on the physical properties of the crude types and data on characteristics of incidents and refinery demographics. Using that data, engineers are better able to identify the types of crude they’re working with and work out how to mitigate the risk of oil corrosion in the pipeline infrastructure.

With the new funding, Maana is planning to scale its business globally and support its growing Fortune Global 500 customer base, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Babur Ozden said in a statement. He also revealed that Maana is entering into a strategic alliance with its new investor Accenture in order to build new industrial applications based on its knowledge graph and sell that technology to industrial firms.

“Over the past year we have seen how Maana’s knowledge platform was being adopted to accelerate digital transformation at some of the world’s largest industrial companies,” said Paul Daugherty, chief technology and innovation officer at Accenture. “By investing and partnering with Maana, Accenture will develop hundreds of AI-based knowledge applications to help our industrial clients augment and improve their human decision making.”