BMW i Ventures’ investment in Yellowbrick


We are thrilled to announce BMW i Ventures’ investment in Yellowbrick, the technological leader in big data warehouse solutions. Yellowbrick helps businesses derive value from large data sets in real-time. Their unparalleled performance is based on an integrated full-stack system of hardware and software including their own database and file storage system. Our Series C financing, in partnership with fellow investors IVP, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Menlo Ventures, Google Ventures, Siemens’ Next47, Samsung Ventures, and ThirdPoint, will further accelerate Yellowbrick’s global market adoption in data warehouses, cloud, and hybrid environments.

 As investors, we are excited by the potential magnitude of the solution, and to invest in the impressive track record and technical expertise of Yellowbrick’s founding team Neil Carson (CEO) and Jim Dawson (CRO). Neil and Jim previously held executive leadership roles, as CTO and CRO respectively, at flash storage pioneer Fusion-io. They helped drive the company to an IPO and eventual successful sale for $1.2BN to SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK) in July of 2014.

We live in the golden era of big data, driven by Global 2000 companies increasing utilization of big data analytics to gain a competitive edge and better understanding of their customer’s needs. A recent IBM study found that 90% of all data has been created in the last two years, a mind boggling thought. A widely publicized IDC report shows that the digital universe has been roughly doubling every two years, and that by next year in 2020, the world will reach a staggering 40 trillion gigabytes of data (40 zettabytes). Companies need new ways of storing and harnessing this data so that they can convert pieces of information into powerful insights to inform mission critical real-time decisions. 

 Yellowbrick helps companies solve this massive problem, allowing customers to manage and analyse terabytes to petabytes of data on-premise, in the cloud, or as a hybrid of both. Legacy solutions developed over a decade ago, including players like Netezza, Teradata, Greenplum, and Aster Data, have faced competition from new entrants like Amazon’s Redshift and Snowflake. These cloud based solutions, often face speed challenges and cost overruns analysing large data sets at scale, so large companies needed a nextgen hybrid solution to build where first gen solutions left off. Enter Yellowbrick, which allows customers to manage their data with flexible hybrid options at speeds and price points never seen before. Customers, when describing Yellowbrick, use words like “incredible,” “transformative,” “breakthrough,” and “earth-shattering.”

It’s no big surprise then, that the company has quickly landed an impressive customer list when it came out of stealth a year ago. The list includes the world’s largest insurance company, a top 5 credit card company, the world’s largest market research company, a top 5 North American telecommunications company, a top 5 global shipping company, the world’s leading risk and legal analytics company, a leader in electronic health records, and a top 10 hospitality operator, among others. With Yellowbrick already working with some of the world’s largest customers, the company is proving the $20+ billion market for enterprise data warehouse solutions is ripe for disruption.

 Another key aspect that got us so excited about the product, is that Yellowbrick has a distinctive advantage over its competitors with their breakthrough real-time data ingestion. Historically, live data sets (for example data from sensors, telemetry, credit cards, e-commerce purchases, network logs, camera feeds, or financial fraud), faced the issue that up to the minute additional critical information would stream in, but could not be added to prior historical data sets in real-time to be included in the analysis. Instead, it would be accumulated and compiled days later. Up until now, customers often were forced to maintain two different systems – one for real-time analytics, one for long-term analytics. Yellowbrick instead allows customers to combine and run data analysis on up to the minute information in real-time, which is critical for customers who are reliant on performing mission critical operations. In our opinion, there are many Yellowbrick use cases that have never been fathomed by customers or were previously impossible to accomplish with reasonable economics to date.

On top of this, Yellowbrick delivers customers up to a 97% footprint reduction versus legacy solutions, allowing customers to save on power, management, cooling, and data center costs. Yellowbrick has developed a revolutionary new architecture focused on solid-state storage that introduces dramatic miniaturization to the data warehouse industry. Customers have seen their previous solution’s storage space shrink from six full data center racks to just six rack units (which is only 12 inches as seen below).


We only now start exploring the potential of this groundbreaking technology. It holds the promise to completely revolutionize how large data sets like IoT sensor data in connected factories or data from autonomous vehicles can be processed. We are certain Yellowbrick will play a key role in shaping tomorrow’s world that will heavily rely on increasingly growing data sets.

Our team at BMW i Ventures is excited to invest and partner with Yellowbrick to help drive growth internationally and into new business verticals.