Concurrent, Interview with CEO Gary Nakamura

Concurrent, Interview with CEO Gary Nakamura

June 2, 2014

San Francisco, CA-based enterprise data application platform company Concurrent has just closed a $10M Series B funding round (read here). CEO Gary Nakamura answered our questions about the company, the products and some milestones, the funding and future plans.

FinSMEs: Hi Gary. First, can you tell us a little bit more about you? What’s your background?
Gary: I’m the CEO of Concurrent, Inc. Prior to Concurrent, I was general manager at Terracotta, Inc. (acquired by Software AG), where I built the commercial open-source business and operations. I also spent the previous 10 years at BEA Systems and Netscape.

FinSMEs: Let’s speak about Concurrent. What’s the issue you wanted to fix and the opportunity you found in the market?
Gary: Enterprises are rapidly adopting Hadoop to meet business challenges that require a reliable way to consistently operationalize their data and deliver data products to their customers. Concurrent provides products and technology to organizations enabling them to quickly build, deploy and manage data-centric applications to meet the growing demands of their business.
Concurrent leads the market in the Big Data application infrastructure. We are the team behind Cascading, the most widely used application development framework for building data-oriented applications with more than 150,000 user downloads a month. Used by thousands of businesses including eBay, Etsy and Twitter, Cascading is the de facto standard in open source application infrastructure technology. Additionally, our flagship enterprise product, Driven, is purpose built to address the pain points of enterprise data application development and data application performance management by providing unprecedented visibility and control to organizations who need to deliver operational excellence.
The market growth opportunity for us is immense. Hadoop is quickly becoming a critical piece of data infrastructure for enterprises, and the data applications built on top are business critical. Cascading and Driven are in the sweet spot for enterprise demand to build, monitor, and manage reliable and performing data applications.

FinSMEs: How does Cascading work? Tell me something about the features…
Gary: Cascading is a proven application development framework that enterprises can use to easily and reliably build data products to meet business needs. Cascading dramatically simplifies application development, accelerates time to market, and allows enterprises to leverage existing infrastructure and skill sets.
At its core, Cascading is a Java library that fits directly into any standard development process and abstracts the complexity of building applications on Hadoop. Cascading’s APIs allow developers to keep business and integration logic separated, giving them the ability to focus on developing complete applications with test-driven development practices that solve business problems. Once your application is written, Cascading then converts your business logic into efficient parallel jobs for running on your computation fabric of choice.
With the upcoming release of Cascading 3.0, Cascading will have a pluggable and customizable query planner that gives enterprises the ability to write their applications once, and then run their applications on any supported fabric that best meet their business needs. Cascading 3.0 will add support for Apache Tez. Soon after, with community support, Apache Spark, Apache Storm and others will be supported.

FinSMEs: Where are you now in terms of growth? Some numbers?
– Employees: We are under 20 employees
– Cascading has more than 150,000 user downloads a month and over 7,000 production deployments.
– Cascading users include Twitter, Etsy, eBay, The Climate Corp, among thousands of others.

FinSMEs: You just raised funding. What can you tell me about the investors? How are you using the funds?
Gary: We have a new investor with this round – Bain Capital Ventures. Our existing investors, Rembrandt Ventures and True Ventures, also participated. We’ll use the financing to drive research and development of Driven and Cascading, as well as scale our operations to meet growing customer demand.

FinSMEs:…future plans?
Gary: Yes – We have them. Data applications are the combination of enterprise IP, their data and reliable delivery. As we all journey through this Big Data experience, one thing will emerge as paramount and that is that data is the new competitive landscape. We will continue to deliver products and technology to make it easier for enterprises to build, deploy and manage data-centric apps.